Forty individuals were honored at the 2015 Lafourche Pride Awards Banquet on Saturday, August 29, at the Warren J. Harang Jr. Municipal Auditorium in Thibodaux. Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office employees and local citizens were honored for feats of bravery, exceptional work, and dedication to public service during the 22nd annual awards program. The Lafourche Deputies Association sponsors and organizes the program through the financial support of its members who are employees of the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Craig Webre utilizes this annual event to publicly honor employees and civilians who perform commendable work, save someone’s life, or perform their job in a distinguished and commendable manner. In all, a total of 40 individuals, including 33 LPSO employees, three (3) civilians, and four (4) retirees, were honored on Saturday night.
Lieutenant Doug Foreman, the supervisor of the Patrol Division’s Specialty Enforcement Section, received the most coveted award – the Sheriff’s Star – which is the highest honor at the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office. Lieutenant Foreman has been serving the citizens of Lafourche since joining the Sheriff’s Office as a reserve deputy in 1985, and he began working full time three years later. Captain Chad Shelby, Commander of the Patrol Division, referred to Lieutenant Foreman as “the quintessential public servant.” Lieutenant Foreman also received a Distinguished Service Award for which he was nominated by Captain Shelby.
Former Chief Deputy Robert “Bud” Dill IV was honored for his 34 years of service. Rebecca Chabert, who served for 30 years was also honored. Both Dill and Chabert were recipients of the Sheriff’s Star in 1996 and 2013, respectively. Retiree Evans Adams was recognized for his 17 years of service, and Philip Aucoin was honored for 10 years.
In addition to Lieutenant Foreman, seven others received Distinguished Service Awards on Saturday. Barry Parker was recognized for 20 years of volunteer service as a reserve deputy. Fleet Mechanic Chris Arceneaux and Auto Body Shop Supervisor Danny Theriot were recognized for their outstanding work. Deputy Shelly Savoie, Coordinator of the “Safetyville” exhibit at the Bayou Country Children’s Museum in Thibodaux, was honored for her efforts in public safety. Others receiving Distinguished Service Awards included Lynne Dufrene and Detective Nick Pepper, as well as LPSO Public Information Officer, Sergeant Brennan Matherne.
Reserve deputies James Wendell and Jay Watkins received Lifesaving Medals on Saturday. Deputy Wendell saved the life of a four-year-old who was rescued from drowning in a pool, and Deputy Wakins saved the life of a driver who was ejected from a vehicle following a crash. Sergeant Brad Ross and Deputy Steven Pitts were honored for saving the life of a one-year-old child who had been locked in a hot car.
Three civilians were honored on Saturday, including 10-year-old Kaelyn Bellanger who saved a small child who was in danger of drowning at a hotel pool. Charles Chauvin and L.J. Baudoin were also honored with Certificates of Commendation for donating their time and talents to repair and upgrade facilities at the LPSO Shooting Range in Raceland.
The LPSO Training Division was recognized with a Unit Commendation for their efforts in training cadets at the Lafourche Sheriff’s Regional P.O.S.T. Training Academy. The Evidence Section was recognized for efforts in cataloguing fifty years of evidence and obtaining hundreds of destruction orders for obsolete items. The clerks of the Personnel Division were also recognized for outstanding work this year. Individual Certificates of Commendation were awarded to the following individuals:
- Dave Defelice – for 11 years of service in the Volunteers in Patrol program.
- Larry Chamberlain – for his tenacity and for going above and beyond everyday on the job.
- Dee Falgout – for outstanding work in Accounts Payable.
- Correction Officer Danielle Finister – for her willingness to help fellow employees learn and grow on the job.
- Correction Officer Jennifer Day – for the assistance she provided the wife of an inmate.
- Deputy Beau Prejean – for donating lumber to a couple to finish building a wheelchair access ramp for their home.
- Sergeant Todd Prevost and Lieutenant Courtney Curole Prevost – for purchasing Christmas gifts for five children of a domestic abuse victim
- Detective Joseph Anderson – for his efforts leading to the capture of an escaped inmate in September 2014.
- Detective Jeff Chamberlain – for his tenacious efforts in assisting LA State Police in the investigation into the home invasion/shooting incident at a Thibodaux Police Officer’s home in January 2015.
- Sergeant Todd Prevost and Sergeant Derek Champagne – for their efforts in locating a missing elderly Raceland man in October 2014.
The Lafourche Deputies Association also awarded Justin Benoit with the Outstanding Member of the Year Award. Benoit was chosen by the association’s Board of Directors which includes Angela Barbera (President), Jeff Chamberlain (Vice-President), Amy Guillot (Treasurer), Brandy Deroche (Secretary), Trent Duplantis, Floyd Jennings, Andrew Labat, Robin Naquin, and Ryan Dantin.