The St. John Sheriff’s Office held an official opening ceremony for a new tactical training facility on Monday, August 8, 2022 at Patrol Headquarters in LaPlace.
This new 6,000 sq. ft. facility, built behind patrol headquarters, replaces the 18-year-old training area named in memory of Captain Octavio “Ox” Gonzalez, who was killed in the line of duty on June 16, 2006.
Instead of a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony, two controlled explosive breaches of the doors, initiated by Captain Gonzalez’ sons Alexander and Bryson, were conducted to celebrate the opening of the new facility.
The Special Weapons And Tactics team, Patrol, and the Criminal Investigations Division will train in various scenarios, practicing active shooter, building clearing, and hostage situation response. The new center will retain Captain Gonzalez’ name.
“As law enforcement officers we must train practical and prepare for every criminal acton and reaction for the protection of our citizens,” Sheriff Mike Tregre said. “All too often, we are unaware of what the situation may be, and that’s when good training comes in.”
Captain Jake Boudreaux said the new facility will benefit the SJSO as well as surrounding agencies. “The shoot house will be a valuable tool to all law enforcement agencies in the region, forging a bond and creating interagency operability between local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies,” Captain Boudreaux said.
Gloria Gonzalez, Capt. Gonzalez’ wife, and their sons Bryson and Alexander, and other family members and friends, along with several SJSO officers attended the ceremony.
Among other special guests were St. Charles Sheriff Greg Champagne, St. James Sheriff’s Office Chief Sid Berthelot, Orleans Parish Sheriff Susan Hutson, Parish President Jaclyn Hotard, Councilman Warren Torres, Councilwoman Tonia Schnyder, Rep. Randal Gaines, and SWAT teams from throughout Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi.