By Kevin Shannahan
The City of Natchitoches Police Department added ten new reserve officers and the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Department added two new reserve deputies as the Natchitoches Police Department’s Reserve Academy held its graduation at the Natchitoches Arts Center Thursday, April 25th. Lt. Jeff Townson of the NPD was their main instructor and emceed the program. He explained the training the new officers and deputies went through. The academy is an eight week program in which the prospective law enforcement officers are trained in a variety of subjects from drug identification to traffic stops and defensive tactics. As part of their training, each officer was trained in the use of every weapon they carry. This included being pepper sprayed and tazed, a truly memorable experience! District Attorney Harrington also taught classes on the legal aspects of the court cases that come after a person is arrested.
Natchitoches Police Chief Mickey Dove pinned the badges on the new Natchitoches reserve police officers while Chief of Patrol for the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Department, Douglas Rachal, did so for the new reserve deputies. In one case tonight, law enforcement was a family affair. Reserve deputy John Augustus’, II badge was pinned on by his father Deputy Sgt John Augustus. Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court David Stamey administered the oath of office to everyone.
The reserve officers and deputies are a valuable resource for their departments and our community. They save taxpayers thousands of dollars each year by volunteering their time each month. They extend the reach of law enforcement and make our parish a safer and better place to live. They embody community service at its deepest level. As Sir Winston Churchill said of military reservist-”The Reservist is twice the citizen.”
The Natchitoches Parish Journal thanks these superb young men and women for their commitment to our community. We are donating tonight’s photography. The album is not locked and anyone may download any photos they wish. If you do download a photo, please consider a donation to the Officer Down Memorial Page, www.odmp.org.