Law enforcement's best of the best recognized

Charlotte Guedry
Gonzales Police Officer of the Year Homer Martin receives a plaque from Chief of Police Sherman Jackson.

Wednesday night, the St. Theresa of Avila Knights of Columbus Counci 2657 hosted the 36th Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Banquet.

Master of ceremonies, Jason Verdigets, and attorney with the 23rd Judicial District Attorney's Office, presented an evening filled with fun, and most of all, recognition.

After a dinner by chefs Mike Daigle and Leon Darbonne, both the Sorrento and Gonzales Mayor's began the evening by giving speeches about their police departments, and thanked the Knights of Columbus.

"I am so proud of the Sorrento Police Department," said Mayor Wilson Longanecker Jr. "They are a well disciplined, well organized, and well managed team of men and women."

"We all thank the Knights of Colmbus for helping us to honor our wonderful law enforcement agents," said Mayor Barney Arceneaux.

Parish President Tommy Martinez was also at the event and thanked the men and women of law enforcement.

"We appreciate you," he said. "What you do for all of us never goes unnoticed."

Four winners were announced during the event. All four were voted for and picked by their departments, and the honor is a prestigious one.

Kevin Harrison, a U.S. Marshal for the Middle District of Louisiana, was the guest speaker, and spoke of the sacrifices and honor of serving in law enforcement.

"Why do they do it?" he asked spectators. "They do it because somehow and someway there is a higher power at work behind them all."

He went on to add that law enforcement officers are those men and women who deal with the sordid side of life, so that the rest of us don't have to.

"They are the people who deal with the group who beat their children, who rob, and who murder. They do it, fortunately, so the rest of the population don't have to see that side of life firsthand. They are the ones who look inside of the closets so you don't have to."

This year's winners were:

Gonzales Police Deartment: Homer Martin

Sorrento Police Department: Chief Earl Theriot

Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office: Ward Webb

Louisiana State Troopers Troop A: Bryan Lee

Sorrento Chief of Police was chosen as this year's Sorrento Officer of the Year. He is awarded by Assistant Chief Billy Ballard.