Reprint from  
Published Saturday, May 14, 2016


I was caught totally off guard when the news of the Sheriff’s Office purchase of the bowling alley on Cambridge Drive hit the streets, and I heard, “Sheriff Tregre how could you do this to our children?”

“Our kids do not have anywhere to play already and purchasing the bowling alley is a complete waste of money.”

“We don’t want it in our neighborhood!”

And worst of all, “We will remember this next time you run for re-election!”

On the other hand I’ve gotten an overwhelming amount of positive responses.

“This is a great idea because the building was an eyesore.”

Others say, “We are glad to have a substation in Cambridge because we always wanted one.”

And finally, “Naming it after 20-year Sheriff Lloyd B. Johnson was the best idea ever.”

All in all, there are 45,000 residents in St. John Parish and keeping everyone happy is impossible. St. John Sheriff’s office must keep up with advanced training and changing times, just as other departments are doing across the country.

The purchase of this building will take our department to another level when it comes to training in the department and in the community.

The building that was formerly known as Riverbend Lanes has been abandoned for 10 years. It was being vandalized with graffiti and was unmanaged.

I am being told that other bowling alley owners looked at restoring the business since its closure, but the cost of restoration to a bowling alley would far outweigh the projected profits.

If anyone would like more information on what some are calling the “silver bullet” to parish recreation in St. John Parish, I would be happy to set up a meeting with residents, possibly at the courthouse to discuss the vision for the future use of this building.

My plan is for the building to house an indoor shooting range, training academy for officers, ladies self defense classes, hunter safety classes, weapon safety classes, meeting rooms and hurricane shelter for officers to hunker down during natural disasters that require that emergency personnel remain on call.

My records clearly show that I have and always will be a supporter of recreation in St. John Parish. I know all too well that recreation equals crime prevention!

I coached kids in St. John Parish Recreation when my kids participated and even when I did not have kids playing on the team.

I remember coaching Ricardo Gathers, the newest member of the Dallas Cowboys (straight outta St. John), during my biddy basketball coaching days. I remember my son Jared plucking his ears as he sat in the front seat of the truck when we drove him home from basketball practice.

I wish Ricardo the best of luck in the NFL and I hope he remembers that St. John knew he would be special before Jerry Jones did!

Remember Ricardo, “Prayers work, hard work pays off and dreams do come true.”

I would be remiss if I didn’t say that May 5 made me happily married to Tanyia Stevens Tregre for 26 years.

And I would like to say a belated “Happy Mother’s Day” to all of the moms who have mastered multitasking. You are the real MVPs in life!