St. Charles Herald-Guide

Police triple presence during Hurricane Isaac

Jonathan Menard - September 7, 2012

While there were still a few burglaries, the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office was able to keep crime under control throughout Hurricane Isaac by tripling the presence of officers.

Beginning last Monday, all employee vacation was cancelled by the office and every deputy, including detectives and those in specialized divisions, was deployed on two 12-hour shifts throughout the week.

"They worked twelve-hour shifts and rotated around, so we tripled our coverage," Capt. Pat Yoes said. "We doubled them up and put them in beats."

Yoes said despite the increased police presence, deputies still made some arrests.

"It’s like anything, we had some burglaries because people take advantage of things," he said.

Sheriff Greg Champagne, who kept residents updated throughout the hurricane on Facebook, took pleasure in one of the arrests.

"The day ended well. I returned to the office in time to see detectives escorting a looter in handcuffs who broke into a home in Destrehan and stole the owner’s vehicle," Champagne wrote on Aug. 30.

Champagne was refering to 27-year-old Devon Joseph, who allegedly burglarized a Destrehan home while the victim was evacuated.

Police say Joseph took several TVs, a laptop computer and several gaming systems. He also allegedly stole two school bags, a lawn mower and a weed eater before taking off in the victim’s Nissan Armada.

Two St. Rose residents, 54-year-old Frank Randle and 42-year-old Dionne Sherman, were also arrested during the parish’s mandatory curfew. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the two were in possession of burglary tools and illegal drugs.

Champagne also encouraged residents to call 911 and ask deputies to patrol their neighborhoods.

"If anyone, especially those of you in areas without power feel you aren’t seeing enough patrol, please feel free to call 911 and ask for it on your street," Champagne wrote on Aug. 31. "The guys really appreciate the direction. Don’t be shy."

Along with patrolling the area for crime, Champagne also deployed a deputy in a high water vehicle to patrol Willowridge for those sight seeing and running water into homes.

"I must say that 98 percent of people have been understanding, considerate, helpful and supportive," Champagne wrote. "But you other two percent who refuse to comply with the law are really wearing on us."