Sgt. Gautreaux remembered

Accompanied by Freckles, he helped educate children about Sheriff’s Office

July 19 at 5:56 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Sgt. Gautreaux remembered
Many were hit hard by the death of Sgt. Roy Gautreaux Jr., a longtime volunteer deputy and K-9 handler with the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office who suddenly passed away last week at the age of 61.

Mautreaux joined the Sheriff’s Office in 2007 and was assigned to the K-9 division in 2012. There, he found his canine partner in fighting crime, Freckles, a Labrador mix trained in search and rescue, cadaver recovery and narcotics.

Together, the two made regular appearances at local schools to conduct demonstrations. One of the biggest hits with the students among those was one where Freckles would search for an item hidden in tall grass; once Freckles found the item, he’d give a high five to a congratulatory Gautreaux.

The two were an extremely popular tandem, one as part of which Freckles found fame. The dog even has his own Facebook page, under his full name: Freckles Gautreaux.

Sgt. Gautreaux, who lived in St. Rose, served as fire chief at the Kenner Fire Department before retiring from his post there and joining the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office full-time in the Marine Division and as a K-9 handler.

St. Charles Sheriff Greg Champagne said Gautreaux won’t be forgotten and will be very missed.

“Over the years, Sgt. Roy Gautreaux and Freckles spread a tremendous amount of good will to people all over St. Charles Parish, especially our young people.  He was a great PR asset to our agency and we will all miss him so. Our prayers go out to his wife Billie and his two children, Beckie Thornton and Roy Gautreaux III.  We thank Roy for his great positive public service both with the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office and the Kenner Fire Department.”

Champagne said Gautreaux became a K-9 handler because he wanted to work in a position that would allow him to interact with the public in a positive way.

SCSO Lt. Jason Guidry supervises the K-9 division worked closely with Gautreaux and said the Sgt. was truly kind-hearted.

“He was a phenomenal guy,” Guidry said. “He’s the type of guy who, anything that needs to be done, he was the first one jumping up to get it done. He’d help anybody that he could. He was a very giving person.”

He said Gautreaux displayed a clearly special connection with Freckles, noting the two “worked off of each other’s personalities.”

“Freckles was the only dog we have with his own Facebook page. You can’t go anywhere and find people who don’t know him, especially children. So he and Roy were an extremely popular team,” Guidry said.

He added, “Roy was all about making a positive impact on these kids. That was very important to him, and he was able to do that with Freckles.”

He also made a very positive impact on the people he came across every day.

Guidry said Gautreaux represented a special figure in his life, calling him “a part of our family.”

“He’s a guy I could turn to when the rough times hit and I needed some advice and you could talk to him,” he said. “You could ask him for advice. He was my guy.

“Now, he was a clown,” Guidry said with a chuckle. “He loved cutting up … he loved to give you hell ... he really did. I’m gonna miss him. I’m gonna miss him bad.”

View other articles written Ryan Arena

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