Gonzales Chief of Police Sherman Jackson in the spotlight

Charlotte Guedry
Gonzales Chief of Police Sherman Jackson in Jambalaya Park.

How did you become interested in your chosen career?

As a young man, law enforcement officers always caught my eye. I admired the way they carried themselves. I remember always feeling a great sense of security in their presence. I was fascinated with police shows growing up. One in particular, SWAT.  I never missed an episode. Around the age of 15, my fascination turned in to a true desire. Becoming a Police Officer became my goal. I realized that these guys solved problems and protected the innocent from terrible criminals. I served in the Army where this desire to serve was only reinforced. When I returned to Gonzales I went and applied with the Gonzales Police Department. I knew I wanted to help good people and put bad people where they belong: Jail.

What do you enjoy most about your position, and what do you enjoy least?

I enjoy being a role model for our youth and seeing the smiles on their faces when I’m around them. These boys and girls are our future and it’s up to us to guide them to success. The least enjoyable aspect of my position is the impacts of drugs, and the needless destruction and suffering they cause in families and throughout our community. Drugs are one of the top reasons crimes are being committed.

What does a typical day consist of?

Meeting with the public and my staff, correspondence, returning calls and ensuring the daily operational objectives of the department are being met.  It’s very fast paced and fulfilling.

Is there a specific achievement during your career that you are the most proud of?

The implementation and success of the Gonzales Police Department’s Youth Mentoring Program would be the achievement of which I’m most proud. Created two years ago, it is now in all the schools within the city limits of Gonzales.  Our officers are in the schools every day and it’s making a difference. I have received many phone calls and e-mails from the principals praising the efforts of our police officers.

Any advice for someone wishing to follow in your footsteps?

It takes dedication to achieve any worthwhile success in life, but in law enforcement, it is the combination of training and skills fueled by a desire and  a dedication to helping others.  Taking the time to understand your community or individual, and their concerns, is often the most important quality of a great police officer. I would encourage anyone that is thinking of joining our law enforcement community to work towards building and understanding these traits within themselves, find opportunities to demonstrate leadership using these, and persevere.  Take every opportunity to self-develop.  But most of all, be humble. Understand that an officer protects and serves his and her community.