CFA’s Leaders in Law Enforcement Awards recognizes one Sheriff’s Department, District Attorney’s Office, and Louisiana State Police Troop or Section for their exceptional work in the State of Louisiana. The intent of this award is to bolster morale, increase respect for public service, acknowledge improvements in operations, and encourage extraordinary performance among Louisiana law enforcement agencies.

This award is designed to honor those departments who are making the most impact in their communities with the resources they have been allocated. An awards recognition ceremony is held annually.

As a gift from The Brown Foundation, the winning departments each receive a $40,000 award to be used at their discretion to improve operations and continue to encourage extraordinary performance.

The application process for 2023 will begin January 16th and runs through March 31st. Departments receiving the award will be notified by June 15, 2023.

The annual awards recognition ceremony is tentatively scheduled as a luncheon on Tuesday, August 8, 2023, in Lafayette.

The Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation generously underwrites the Leaders in Law Enforcement Awards.

2022 Leaders in Law Enforcement Award Recipients

Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office

The Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office (CPSO) is being recognized for the implementation and effectiveness of its Cyber Crime Unit. This special unit was formed to address the rising number of child pornography and cyber enticement cases in the community. In August 2020, the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office created the Cyber Crime Unit to enhance investigative response combatting predators using the internet and online communication to sexually exploit juveniles. A specially trained lead investigator and two support investigators were brought together to form the Cyber Crime Unit.

To properly equip this new team, Sheriff Hedrick purchased Oxygen Forensics mobile extraction software and The GrayKey, a state-of-the-art forensic access tool, that extracts encrypted or inaccessible data from mobile devices and computers. The Cyber Crime Unit has one of only a few GrayKey products in the state of Louisiana. In July 2021, the CPSO launched a smartphone application to give users the ability to submit tips anonymously. This app has had such tremendous success with multiple sex crimes reported and thus solved through submissions.

It is not unusual for the Cyber Crime Unit investigators to spend up to 600 hours per case reviewing messages, call logs, and photos from multiple types of digital media, including computers, cell phones, and tablets. They sift through volumes of dark material that no one should be subjected to. This takes a significant emotional toll on the investigators. They obtain warrants, conduct interviews, and affect arrests. Their motivation comes from seeing the end result of getting victims out of damaging and dangerous situations, providing justice for families who have lost loved ones, and getting sex offenders off the streets. A Victims Advocate was added to the CPSO staff to work closely with the Cyber Crime Unit to enhance communication with juveniles involved in sex crimes and victims of domestic violence.

The Victims Advocate brings a sensitive approach to supporting and interviewing traumatized victims and offers suggestions to the investigators on how to approach juvenile victims so they feel safe and comfortable telling their stories.

The success of the Cyber Crime Unit has been tremendous in just two short years. Investigators have worked over 291 cases, and all have been resolved. The accomplishments of this team have greatly impacted the Concordia Parish community as well as communities throughout the state by identifying multiple child predators and obtaining help and assistance for their victims.

1st Judicial District Attorney’s Office of Caddo Parish

The 1st Judicial District Attorney’s Office of Caddo Parish is recognized for its Exit Strategy Program, a diversion program aimed at curtailing sex trafficking which resonates from the I-49 corridor. According to the FBI, most Caddo Parish sex trafficking arrests happen when victims are being transported to Dallas, Atlanta, and beyond. The Caddo Parish DA’s Office recognizes that sex trafficking is a threat to both children and adults in the community. Trafficking victims face a myriad of physical and mental health issues, homelessness, and criminal charges.

Trafficking victims are often forced into prostitution to provide income for their traffickers or to provide for themselves if they have escaped their traffickers. Through a life of prostitution, the victims face arrest, prosecution, jail time, and fines, which all add to their criminal history. This criminal history creates barriers to educational programs and jobs that pay a living wage. In response to the human trafficking crisis, the Caddo Parish DA’s office partnered with HUB Ministry. This partnership enables women who are facing criminal charges of prostitution to enter the Exit Strategy diversion program. Exit Strategy is a life skills and wellness program where those women can gain access to resources that lead to full recovery and restoration. Exit Strategy offers both a non-residential and residential program. Once participants complete either the non-residential or residential program, the Caddo Parish DA’s office dismisses the participant's criminal charges. Remarkably, none of the Exit Strategy participants have re-offended. Just a few success stories include a licensed realtor, a medical assistant, and the owner of a cleaning business.

The Caddo Parish DA’s Office also works to rehabilitate “Johns” – those who solicit sex trafficking victims who are working as prostitutes. The offenders learn about the devastating impact of human trafficking and its consequences on the community and individuals. Once the offenders successfully complete the John School, The DA’s office dismisses their charges of promoting prostitution.

The Caddo Parish DA’s Office also provides diversion for youthful offenders who are sex-trafficking victims. S.T.A.R (Succeeding Through Achievement and Resiliency) Court provides interventions for delinquent youth who are victims of sex trafficking. Once S.T.A.R Court youthful offenders complete their programs, the district attorney closes their case.

The Caddo DA’s office has developed and expanded programs to help sex trafficking victims lead healthy, productive lives. These diversion initiatives allow participants to gain access to resources that lead to full recovery and restoration while ending the revolving door into the criminal justice system

Louisiana State Police Troop D

Louisiana State Police Troop D is recognized for continuing to meet adversity with resiliency and its willingness to go beyond the call of duty. The legacy of Troop D strives for 100% compliance because public trust is essential, not incidental to the functioning of the organization. Over the past few years, in addition to the pandemic, Troop D has been challenged with numerous extraordinary weather-related events, yet the troop has continued to remain steadfast.

During the calamity of Hurricane Laura, troopers, both on and off duty, accepted the challenge to serve the community, reinforcing the troop's commitment to excellence by supporting area organizations both in and out of their immediate area. While continuing to reinforce the Highway Regulatory Act, troopers took time to share supplies and provide assistance where needed. In the months following the storm, troopers continued to provide food and supplies to affected families through the Meals on Wheels program. The following year, when Troop C’s region was ravaged by Hurricane Ida, Troop D headed east to assist their fellow troopers in need. They helped with patrols, meal preparation, and assisting families struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Troop D again stepped up when they stepped out of Louisiana to help residents of Orange, Texas, during a heavy rainstorm that left their neighbors to the west flooded inside their homes. Troopers traveled by foot and worked tirelessly to ensure multiple families were rescued from the rising waters that would have likely taken the lives of many if not for the swift action of troopers. Following the rescues, troopers gathered essential medicine and equipment for many of the residents.

Each year, Troop D holds the Steven Vincent Memorial Team 5k event to remember the life of Senior Trooper Steven Vincent, who was tragically killed in the line of duty in 2015. The goal of the event is three-fold: to raise money to provide level 4 vests for each trooper, to support Trooper Charities which aids terminally and chronically ill children, and provide programs where troopers help to sponsor and coordinate fishing trips and youth hunting trips benefitting underprivileged and inner-city youth.

Furthermore, Troop D participates in numerous community engagement projects, including a partnership with Axiall (formerly PPG Industries), in which they host an annual Skills for Life Camp geared toward school-aged students in grades 6-8. Since 1998, over 700 middle school students have attended the camp, where they spend one week during the summer learning various practical skills and life lessons as they are mentored by troopers. This is a great opportunity for troopers to interact with the campers and positively influence them, even saving some from a life of crime. Troop D firmly believes they are only as strong as the community they serve.

Past Award Recipients

Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office (2021)

The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office is recognized for successfully creating a safe space and fun atmosphere where deputies can interact daily with kids in the community.

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Lafourche District Attorney’s Office (2021)

The 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office of Lafourche Parish is recognized for its RESPECT U Program which was launched in 2018.

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Louisiana State Police Troop C (2021)

Louisiana State Police Troop C is recognized for a myriad of developments and partnerships implemented in their region which have drastically improved road safety and reduced the accidental death rate.

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Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Department (2020)

The Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Department is recognized for their Deputies Making a Change (DMAC) Program, a mentoring program initiated to address the incarceration and school dropout rate among vulnerable male youth in Ouachita Parish.

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40th Judicial District Attorney’s Office of St. John the Baptist Parish (2020)

The 40th Judicial District Attorney’s Office of St. John the Baptist Parish is recognized for implementing impactful opportunities for those most at risk.

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