Probation and Parole Academy class no. 37 graduates

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Front Row: Cory Bennett, Anne Winterton, Brenda Fox, Jessica Hebert, Caroline Chevez, Brittany Martinez, Jacqueline Bonner, Maria Pollage-Toups - Academy Director; Middle Row: Joseph Cotton - Training Specialist; Marlanna Houston, Hanna Minnick, Denver Harcum, Jennifer Hooper, Christian Reed, Trenton Raby; Back Row: Amanda Vincent, Frammy Figueroa, Jeffery Henderson, Christopher Cooke, Allex Poole, Jacob Falgout, Michael Culotta, Bill Corkern - Training Specialist

The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPS&C) Corrections Services officially welcomed 20 new Probation and Parole Officers to the Department after they took the oath of office Friday during a swearing in ceremony at the Louisiana State Police Training Auditorium in Baton Rouge.

DPS&C Deputy Secretary Malcolm Myer and Probation and Parole Director Pete Fremin addressed the graduates as well as the Honorable Hillar C. Moore III, District Attorney, 19th Judicial District, who also administered the oath of office. Also addressing the graduates were Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie, and former Baton Rouge Police Chief Jeff LeDuff.

"Congratulations to the newest members of our Probation and Parole team," said Department of Public Safety and Corrections Secretary James M. Le Blanc. "These new officers will play a critical role in Louisiana's criminal justice system, supervising offenders and helping them successfully reintegrate into society. They are becoming officers during an historical time for the State and our Department, as criminal justice reforms are being decided at the State Capitol."

The new officers will work in districts across Louisiana. During the ceremony, the Department recognized the efforts of a few cadets who excelled in various areas. Jacqueline Bonner of Minden District received the Academic Award, Hanna Minnick of Baton Rouge District received the Top Gun award, Jennifer Hooper of Lake Charles District earned the Physical Fitness award, and Michael Culotta of Amite District received the Distinguished Graduate award.

DPS&C’s P.O.S.T. certified Probation and Parole officers supervise more than 70,000 individuals on probation and/or parole across the state, emphasizing public safety while also helping the individual access resources that will aid in his/her efforts to become a productive member of society rather than a tax burden.

Probation and Parole officers also routinely assist local, state and federal authorities with investigations and information, including the crime prevention initiatives in Baton Rouge and New Orleans as well as various law enforcement task forces.

The Probation and Parole Academy began in 1999 under the direction of Percy William Corkern. Today, Corkern was recognized for his 42 years of dedicated law enforcement service. Corkern is responsible for starting the Probation and Parole Academy, and served as the Academy's first director. Corkern currently serves as a training specialist at the Academy.

Congratulations to the Probation and Parole P.O.S.T Academy Class #37!

Contributed Report