"His energy and enthusiasm is just infectious. I am proud to honor this young man with a bright future ahead."

Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre awarded Ari Latino, who garnered the attention of thousands of viewers locally and nationally for interpreting in Ascension Parish during Tropical Storm Barry, Honorary Sheriff for the month of July.

"Ari is the definition of inspiration," said Sheriff Webre. "He opened the eyes of a lot of people in Ascension Parish and around the world that it's important to keep open communication with our deaf community and making sure they are fully informed.

"His energy and enthusiasm is just infectious. I am proud to honor this young man with a bright future ahead."

Ari is a native signer who can speak more directly to a deaf audience and is able to sign more conversationally for deaf viewers. Ari is very passionate about communicating with deaf citizens in times of emergency so that they know what is happening, can take necessary precautions and feel safe.

We also would like to thank Paula Rodriguez, Founder of Deaf Focus and her entire team at Deaf Focus, for their commitment and dedication to provide communication and counseling support for the deaf community.

Deaf Focus is a non-profit agency helping to make a difference with and for the deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing community. To learn more about their agency, please visit https://www.deaffocus.org.

Contributed by Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office