Lafourche Parish Officials Urge Citizens to Sign up for New Emergency Notification System

Lafourche Parish officials have announced a new emergency alert service immediately available to all residents. The new system is called “Everbridge” and allows citizens to sign up online to receive location-based notifications by a phone call or text message in the case of an emergency.

Everbridge replaces the “CodeRED” system which has been used since 2016. All individuals who live, work, or attend school in Lafourche Parish are encouraged to sign up for emergency notifications through the new Everbridge system. Any resident who registered their cell phones or email with the CodeRED system will have to register on the new system in order to continue receiving alerts.

While details on emergencies such as mandatory evacuations, hazardous material spills, and boil water advisories are always announced through news releases and social media, officials have been using a telephone system for many years which made automated phone calls to residents in a specified area in the event of such an emergency. This old system relied on information from phone companies and primarily made calls to landlines. Everbridge will provide the same functionality, but it will also send text messages and/or emails to anyone who registers a cell phone number or email address.

When signing up for Everbridge online, users will enter basic information, including name and addresses for home and work. You will then be able to list cell phone numbers to text and/or call, home and business lines, and email addresses. Multiple phone numbers can be added. You will automatically be signed up for Lafourche Parish emergency information, but you also have the option to subscribe to local severe weather alerts as well. Once a user is registered, Everbridge will even conduct a test to ensure the information was entered accurately.

Registration for Everbridge emergency alerts is available online on the homepages of the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office website (www.lpso.net) or the Lafourche Parish Government website (www.lafourchegov.org). Users only need to register at one of the sites to be included in all Lafourche Parish notifications. Anyone who lives, works, or attends school in Lafourche Parish is encouraged to sign up. Anyone needing additional information or assistance should contact the Lafourche Parish Government Office of Emergency Preparedness at (985) 532-8174.

DIRECT LINK: SIGN UP FOR EVERBRIDGE ALERTS: LPSO.net/news/alerts/

 

Sheriff Webre Congratulates Nicholls State University Criminal Justice Graduates

Captain Lafate Day (left) and Lieutenant Michael Beck Jr. (right) graduated with degrees in Criminal Justice on Saturday at Nicholls State University.
Captain Lafate Day (left) and Lieutenant Michael Beck Jr. (right) graduated with degrees in Criminal Justice on Saturday at Nicholls State University.

Sheriff Craig Webre congratulated two Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office employees who were among the first group of Criminal Justice degree graduates at Nicholls State University. Captain Lafate Day and Lieutenant Michael Beck Jr. each graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice on Saturday.

Nicholls State University recently instituted a Bachelor’s degree program in Criminal Justice. Captain Day, Director of the Lafourche Sheriff’s Regional P.O.S.T. Training Academy, and Lieutenant Michael Beck, a patrol shift supervisor, were among the first class to graduate in the new program. The two did so while taking advantage of the education benefits afforded to all Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office employees.

“The people of Lafourche Parish deserve the best-educated officers we can provide them, and I am committed to supporting their goals of achieving college degrees,” said Sheriff Webre.

For employees attending Nicholls State University or L.E. Fletcher Community College, the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office will cover 100% of tuition if pursuing an Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, or in the fields of government, sociology, or psychology, depending on the employee’s job assignment. LPSO will also cover a portion of tuition expenses for any employee seeking a graduate degree in those fields. Sheriff Webre also offers additional monthly payment for any employee who possesses a college degree.

“Sheriff Webre created a win-win situation for us as employees,” said Lt. Beck. “Our sheriff covers our tuition and further compensates us for earning our degree, giving you every reason for us to better ourselves in our roles as public servants.”

“Sheriff Webre rewards hard work and dedication,” said Captain Day. “I was able to earn my Associate degree in 2001 and now my Bachelor degree. The Sheriff is a role model who earned his degrees while working and has provided the same opportunity for those who work for him. I am blessed and honored to work for Sheriff Webre and an agency that makes this possible .”

In 2017, the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office received the When Work Works award from the National Society of Human Resource Management for excellence in effective workplace strategy and outstanding employee benefits. LPSO was also named one of 2018’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the nation. The college educational benefit is a prime example of how LPSO distinguishes itself as a leading employer.

Sheriff Webre congratulates all recent graduates as they look forward to a bright and exciting future.

Free Hunter Safety Courses Slated for Summer 2019

The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office will host FREE Hunter Education classroom courses in June and July for anyone ages 10 or older. This two-day course covers topics such as hunter responsibility and ethics, how firearms work and firearms safety, survival and first aid skills, firearm handling skills and hunting techniques, wildlife identification, game care, and information related to wildlife conservation and management.

The first classroom course will be offered on Wednesday, June 26 through Thursday, June 27. The classroom portion on June 26 will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lafourche Parish Fire District #3 Galliano Station, located at 17462 West Main Street in Galliano. The class will resume the following day from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the LPSO Shooting Range located at 3451 Highway 182 in Raceland. CLICK HERE to register for this course.

The second classroom course will be offered on Wednesday, July 31 through Thursday, August 1. Both days will be at the LPSO Shooting Range at 3451 Highway 182 in Raceland. The classroom portion on July 31 will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and class will resume the following day from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. CLICK HERE to register for this course.

Participants must attend BOTH days of the class and pass a written and practical exam to be certified. Class size is limited. Advance registration is required, and a valid email address is required for registration.

Firearms and ammunition should NOT be brought to the class, but snacks are permitted. For more information, or for assistance with online registration, call the LPSO Training Academy at (985) 387-4480 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or email Lieutenant Nolan Smith at nolan-smith@lpso.net.

*Anyone born after September 1, 1969, who wishes to obtain a hunting license in Louisiana, must successfully complete a hunter education course. Exceptions may be granted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for active or veteran members of the United States armed services, for any P.O.S.T.-certified law enforcement officer, or for persons who are under the direct supervision of a person 18-years or older who is already licensed and has taken the approved course. Exceptions must be applied for and approved by Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Driver Arrested Following Pursuit from St. Charles Parish to Lafourche Parish

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre announced a Galliano man was arrested following a pursuit that began in St. Charles Parish. Lionelle Cheramie, 30, of Galliano faces charges including DWI and Aggravated Flight from an Officer.

Sheriff Greg Champagne reported that on Thursday morning, a St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy conducted a traffic stop on a car driving erratically. The driver, later identified as Cheramie, sped away from the stop and eventually began heading west on U.S. Highway 90.

Shortly after 9 a.m., the Cheramie’s vehicle entered Lafourche Parish where LPSO deputies and Louisiana State Police joined in the pursuit. Cheramie exited from U.S. 90 headed southeast on LA Highway 308. Spike strips were set up, but Cheramie went around the strips and ended up off-road in the Gheens community. Cheramie cut through several residential yards before abandoning his car near a railroad track. He attempted to flee the area on foot, but he was quickly taken into custody.

During questioning, Cheramie told deputies he had used methamphetamine earlier in the day. A blood test was conducted, and the results are pending at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab. Cheramie was also found to have several active warrants for his arrest.

Cheramie was booked into the Lafourche Parish Correctional Complex in Thibodaux. He was charged with DWI (2nd Offense) and Aggravated Flight from an Officer. He was also booked on six counts of Contempt of Court stemming from failure to appear in court on various charges. His bail is set for $161,000. He is also being held for St. Charles Parish for charges including Aggravated Flight from an Officer, Reckless Operation, Hit-and-Run Driving, and no registration.

Lionelle Cheramie
Lionelle Cheramie

Sheriff Webre Announces Plans for “Click It Or Ticket” Campaign

Click It or TicketSheriff Craig Webre announced the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office will join other local law enforcement agencies in participating in the Click-It or Ticket campaign which runs from May 20 through June 2, 2019. The campaign is coordinated and funded by the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Additional deputies will be assigned to saturated patrol efforts, and there will be several checkpoints held in conjunction with the campaign. Seat belt checkpoints will be conducted on May 23, 24, and 29. Additionally, a DWI checkpoint will also be conducted on May 24 and continue into the early morning hours of May 25.

During the seat belt checkpoints, deputies will be checking motorists for seat belt and safety seat violations, as well as other violations such as expired inspection tags. During the DWI checkpoint, deputies will be looking for drivers who are possibly impaired while checking for other traffic safety issues, including but not limited to seat belt usage. Remember that Lafourche Parish is a “No Refusal” parish, meaning if a suspected drunk driver refuses a breathalyzer test, deputies will seek a search warrant to have that person’s blood tested.

Click It or Ticket is a seat belt enforcement campaign aimed at increasing the national seat belt usage rate. Every year during the annual Memorial Day Weekend holiday period, law enforcement agencies join forces day and night, from coast-to-coast, for an enforcement blitz that delivers a simple message: “click it or ticket.” In 2017, seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives.

“Most individuals understand that seat belts save lives,” said Sheriff Webre. We hope this enforcement campaign is a reminder of the importance of seat belt usage to the small percentage that do not follow the law.”

Sheriff Craig Webre also asks for patience and cooperation when passing through these checkpoints and for recognizing the importance of raising awareness for safety issues.

Warrants Issued in Investigation into the Shooting Death of a Montegut Man

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre announced warrants have been issued for Second Degree Murder in connection to the shooting death of 53-year-old Kirby Courteaux Jr. of Montegut. Terance Dupre, 22, of Montegut is in custody but was hospitalized on Thursday before being booked on charges. Investigators are now seeking Davonte Mathews, 21, of Montegut.

On May 14, 2019, the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office began the investigation as Courteaux was reported missing. He had not been seen since May 11. On the morning of Wednesday, May 15, TPSO deputies and detectives spotted the victim’s vehicle traveling on Island Road in Montegut and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. The driver sped away at a high rate of speed and eventually abandoned the vehicle in a wooded area along LA Highway 665. He was apprehended and identified as Terance Dupre. TPSO’s investigation led them to determine Courteaux was likely killed near a boat launch located on LA Highway 665 in Pointe-Aux-Chenes in Lafourche Parish.

Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives responded and discovered the crime scene near the boat launch, and bullet casings and other evidence were processed at the scene. The investigation also led to the discovery of Courteaux’s body in Morgan City in the area of Levee Road and Veterans Boulevard. His body was recovered with the assistance of the Morgan City Police Department.

Meanwhile, LPSO detectives began questioning Dupre in reference to Courteaux’s death. Through investigation, detectives learned Mathews, Dupre, and Courteaux were at the boat launch Saturday night when Courteaux was reportedly shot. Mathews and Dupre took Courteaux’s body and his truck. They then transported his body to Morgan City and left him near a wooded area.  An autopsy on Thursday revealed Courteaux suffered multiple gunshot wounds in the shooting. On Thursday afternoon, detectives obtained warrants for the arrest of Mathews and Dupre for Second Degree Murder with bail set at $1 million each.

During questioning on Thursday, Dupre was transported to a local hospital for treatment on an unrelated matter. Upon release from the hospital, he will be booked into the Lafourche Parish Correctional Complex in Thibodaux on the warrant.

Investigators are now searching for Davonte Mathews. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to submit a tip anonymously through Crime Stoppers Bayou Region by phone at 1-800-743-7433 or online at www.crimestoppersbr.org. Tips can also be submitted using the P3 Tips app on your mobile device. Tipsters could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 in cash if the information leads to an arrest.

Detectives learned Dupre knew the victim, but they have yet to determine Mathews’ relationship to the victim or a motive in the shooting. The investigation is continuing.

Terance Dupre
Terance Dupre
Davonte Mathews
Davonte Mathews

SCAM ALERT: Warrant Scam Affecting Lafourche Residents and Businesses

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre is warning citizens of a warrant scam targeting our area. Several citizens reportedly received similar scam calls this week.

In this version of this scam, the caller poses as a deputy with the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office, even providing a false name and rank. The caller then informs the victim that he or she failed to appear for a Grand Jury, and threatens to issue a warrant if payment is not made immediately. The caller will then request payment via prepaid debit card, electronic money order, or gift card.

In reality, if you are required to appear in court, you would have been duly notified. It should, therefore, not be a “surprise” to learn you missed court. In the event you do actually fail to appear in court, a warrant may then be issued for your arrest, but the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office would not call demanding immediate payment. Also, should you choose to pay a fine or ticket by phone, those means of payment would not be accepted. You can only use a credit card or debit card when paying fines or tickets by phone to LPSO.

Like every scam, there are aspects of reality, but it also displays common signs of a scam. The demand for “immediate” payment by an incoming caller and the payment method (prepaid debit card, electronic money order, or gift card) are two signs of a scam. Other signs could include a caller asking you to send money to receive money or prizes, a caller using threatening or vulgar language, or someone calling from a department, but not giving the name of the company. Ultimately, if you are concerned the call may be legitimate, simply hang up and call the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office at (985) 532-2808. If the call is in reference to tickets, fees, or fines, you can call directly, (985) 449-4429. Do not call a number given to you by the incoming caller unless you verify it first.

We encourage you to call us BEFORE you send money if you have any doubt about the authenticity of the call. We would be happy to assist you to ensure you do not become the next scam victim. It is not necessary to report every phone scam, but if you lose money in a scam or receive threats of physical harm or violence, you should report it to the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office or your local law enforcement agency.

Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office Named One of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work for in the Nation

Sheriff Craig Webre and members of his Senior Staff are pictured with the 2018 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For Award.Sheriff Craig Webre and members of his Senior Staff are pictured with the 2018 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For Award.

Sheriff Craig Webre announced the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office has been named one of the 2018 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the Nation. The award was recently accepted by Sheriff Webre and his staff. The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office was one of 2,400 employers to be nominated for the award.

The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® competition identifies and honors organizations that display a commitment to excellence in their human resource practices and employee enrichment. Organizations are assessed based on categories such as communication, work-life balance, employee education, diversity, recognition, retention and more.

“In order to provide the best possible service to the public, you have to first provide the best working environment, opportunities, and training for your employees,” said Sheriff Webre. “This award is just another example of how we are working to ensure the highest level of public service. We strive for a family-like atmosphere while still maintaining the highest levels of professionalism.”

In addition to offering a competitive benefits package, the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office encourages employee development through a variety of initiatives including specialized job training and the opportunity for a college degree. Despite being a law enforcement agency, employees have a variety of fields in which they can specialize.

“With Water Patrol, Police Social Services, the K-9 Section, and Corrections as just some examples, there are so many opportunities for employees to find their niche,” said Sheriff Webre. “We try to identify each employee’s passion and give them the tools to succeed. That has led to unparalleled levels of public service, and in many cases, it has resulted in accolades for our agency such as this one.”

This is the second award of its kind for the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office in as many years. LPSO also received the 2017 When Work Works Award for Exemplary Workplace Practices – the only law enforcement agency in the country and the only employer in Louisiana to receive the award that year.

Best And Brightest Logo

radKIDS® Defense Courses Slated for June and July 2019

Radkids Lpso

The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office will host radKIDS® Defense Courses for children in Raceland, Cut Off, and Thibodaux in June and July. These courses are designed for children 5 to 12 years of age and provide hands-on techniques giving children the tools they need to identify, avoid and if necessary, respond to danger. This is the 21st year the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office has offered these courses.

Here is the schedule of courses:

LPSO Range Facility
3451 Highway 182, Raceland

Tuesday, June 4 through Friday, June 7
Deadline to Register: Friday, May 31

The Learning Center at Lady of the Sea Hospital
200 West 134th Place, Cut Off

Tuesday, June 18 through Friday, June 21
Deadline to Register: Friday, June 14

Moses Community Center
1310 Cardinal Drive, Thibodaux
Tuesday, July 16 through Friday, July 19
Deadline to Register: Friday, July 12

Times:

Children ages 5-7 attend daily morning sessions from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and an afternoon session is held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for children ages 8-12. Parents can elect to drop children off or stay for the two-hour program each day. Children are urged to wear comfortable clothing and tennis shoes.

Cost is $10 per child (for course materials).
Class size is limited, so advance registration is required.

To register, please download and complete the REGISTRATION FORM

Send completed form and $10 check (made payable to Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office) to:
Sergeant Carla Landry
P.O. Box 5608
Thibodaux, LA 70302

For more information, contact Sergeant Carla Landry at
(985) 449-4441 or carla-landry@lpso.net.

“RAD” stands for “Resist Aggression Defensively.” Through radKIDS® training, children become empowered and learn to replace fear, confusion, and panic in dangerous situations with confidence, personal safety skills, and self-esteem. It is an educational opportunity for children to learn personal safety strategies as they will receive special training in school safety, 911 calls, and general awareness. On the final day, they get to “fight off” an aggressor. The courses are taught by deputies of the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office certified to instruct the children in self-defense and awareness of possible dangerous situations. 

Raceland Pedestrian Robs Man Who Planned to Offer Him a Ride

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre announced the arrest of a Raceland man who robbed another man who planned to offer him a ride. Jonathan McDowell, 26, was taken into custody minutes after the incident took place along LA Highway 1 on Friday.

At around 9:15 a.m. on May 11, 2019, deputies responded to the 4700 block of LA 1 in Mathews in reference to a reported robbery. The first deputy to arrive in the area noticed a man walking along the highway fitting the description of the suspect. Deputies made contact with him and he was detained with assistance from Louisiana State Police within less than five minutes of the call.

Investigators made contact with the victim who was reportedly driving on LA 1 when he noticed McDowell walking along the highway. With weather conditions deteriorating, the man decided to stop and offer a ride. As he approached McDowell, the man struck a puddle causing water to splash onto McDowell. When the man stopped the vehicle, McDowell approached him and immediately began arguing about being splashed with water. As the argument escalated, McDowell tried punching the man and opened the man’s door, trying to pull him out of the vehicle. He managed to pull the driver’s shoes and pants off. McDowell then grabbed the man’s wallet which was in his pants, and he left the area.

During questioning, McDowell admitted to his involvement in the crime. He was arrested and charged with Simple Robbery and Simple Battery. He was booked into the Lafourche Parish Correctional Complex in Thibodaux. His bail is set at $26,500.

Jonathan McDowell
Jonathan McDowell