Captain Conrad Baker has been named officer of the second quarter for demonstrating outstanding dedication, vigilance and teamwork, excelling in overall job performance, Sheriff Mike Tregre announced today. With Sheriff Tregre and Cpt. Baker are award sponsors Natalie Tatje and Kelsey Jumonville of Tate Insurance and Financial Products.
As Assistant Commander of Technology, Captain Baker is in charge of the department’s radio system, monitoring and maintaining two communications towers, more than 500 police radios, over 100 radios for the fire department, and nearly 500 surveillance cameras connected to six servers throughout the St. John Parish.
Among Captain Baker’s most notable work was when Hurricane Ida destroyed or damaged nearly 250 surveillance cameras in August 2021. Captain Baker immediately began working to restore the system, continuing the effort well into the night for months in the wake of Ida.
As a result of his hard work and perseverance, Captain Baker was able to get nearly all 250 cameras back on line throughout the parish.
Following Ida, Captain Baker also began spearheading meetings with AT&T and FirstNet to discuss communication issues related to general storm response. As a result of these meetings, AT&T officials chose to issue a new state of the art Firstnet Compact Rapid Deployable Tower system for the SJSO’s IT Division, at zero cost to the department. This “Cell Tower on Wheels” is one of the first issued in the state and can be used anytime the SJSO is in need of WiFi, Internet or cellular coverage during an emergency or special event.
Working closely with the 911 Emergency Center, Captain Baker constantly communicates, even on his days off, with dispatchers to keep them up to date on camera operations. He also has been leading talks with AT&T to establish new fiber Ethernet connections for 911 consoles.
Captain Baker has implemented new features in SJSO radios such as real time and GPS tracking for officer safety that dispatchers and supervisors can view in real time. He has worked to improve the department’s back up radio capabilities to spread throughout St. John Parish for officers as well as for the parish fire services, emergency operations center, and any other outside agencies that may come into the area. This ensures that during any time of emergency, any agency from around the country can assist St. John Parish and always have communications.
Captain Baker also was selected to serve on the GOHSEP Region 3 Task Force that works under the Louisiana Homeland Security Act and has authority to design, construct, administer and maintain a statewide interoperable communications system with capacity to transport voice, data, and imagery in support of full response to any emergency. He also serves on the Louisiana Technical Sub-committee Advisory Board that addresses issues for the state radio system, monitoring 13 towers in Region 3. Captain Baker has been called upon by many agencies statewide for ideas and technical advice in improving their communication capabilities.
Captain Baker has procured no-cost funding from GOHSEP for weather monitoring equipment and then installed and monitors the stations in Pleasure Bend, Mt. Airy and LaPlace.
Captain Baker also assisted with the implementation of an improved investigative tool for vehicle identification, the Flock Safety system, that has been instrumental is assisting officers in locating 19 stolen vehicles since February. Through these stolen vehicles, 24 arrests were made including six wanted people.