The St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office presented its annual memorial service for its officers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Sheriff Mike Tregre and several officers, along with family and friends of law enforcement, gathered May 7, 2024 at the Lloyd B. Johnson Training Center in LaPlace to honor those heroes who were killed while serving and protecting the citizens of St. John Parish.

As part of National Police Week, the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office presents the fallen officers memorial service to pay tribute to officers killed in the line of duty and to honor their memory.

Local officers the SJSO pledges to ‪#‎NeverForget are: Constable Ignace Rousselle, EOW October 20, 1936; Deputy Harry Troxlair Sr., EOW Augusst 1, 1969; Det. Sherman Walker, EOW, November 6, 1984; Deputy Barton Granier, EOW January 27, 1996; Officer Edmond Songy Jr., EOW July 9, 2002; Captain Octavio Gonzalez, EOW June 16, 2006; and Deputy Brandon Nielsen and Deputy Jeremy Triche, August 16, 2012.

Daniell Nielsen Jenkins, the key speaker, talked about her husband, Brandon’s love for his law enforcement career, and how that fateful day of August 16, 2012 when Brandon was shot and killed in the line of duty, changed her life forever.

“No way I will ever forget how I felt … emotions I have never experienced before … the wake, the funeral with more than 5,000 people in attendance … so many people … so many broken hearts …. “Every happy occasion now is tainted … tainted with the what ifs … and what would he think, what would he say ….”

Jenkins also shared some lessons learned when she became a widow at 35 years old. She told the audience, “Don’t’ take life for granted. Love with your whole heart … and tell people you love them. …. Losing it is OK. We all do it, and we’re all here to support each other. …“Healing and hope are constant. Be grateful for the things you have with your whole heart.”

During the ceremony, family members lit a candle before a picture of their loved one killed in the line duty. Joshua Knight played “Amazing Grace” on trumpet.

Sheriff Tregre offered a message of support to the families of fallen officers. “We gather every year to honor your loved ones, our officers who died under tragic circumstances in the line of duty,” Sheriff Tregre said. “They will never be forgotten. … It is the courage and spirit of our fallen officers that allow us to carry on.”

Sheriff Tregre also reminded the officers that they have the heart of a public servant, one who always protects and serves.

In closing, Sheriff Tregre said, “I leave you with the words of Edmond Burke, ‘Evil prevails when good men do nothing.’ ”

Plans also are being discussed for a fallen officers memorial, Sheriff Tregre said, to be constructed at the Lloyd B. Johnson Training Center in LaPlace.