Satellite Center becomes its own major production

With the cameras rolling for “Inside SCSO,” the Satellite Center’s mission of “Building A Better You” is becoming its own major production.

Behind the cameras, teleprompter and monitors producing the new show for the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office are students getting the kind of education that’s making them job ready and, even more enviable, helping them land dream jobs.

The center, made possible with a $28 million bond issue in 2001, is strategically located between Hahnville and Destrehan high schools. High school juniors and seniors learn how to use tools vital in the workplace, getting access to state-of-the-art labs and equipment at the freestanding center, a concept driven by the high cost of technology and the focus on maintaining a progressive learning environment. They come to a 2-1/2-hour class a day at the center for a year.

The studio, built 10 years ago and recently upgraded to handle high-definition production, is one that Program Facilitator Albert Dupont said he’d put up against just about any facility in Louisiana and possibly the nation. But even the best equipment is only as useful as the practical experience it provides so Dupont focused on making student productions an affordable option for public programming such as for the Sheriff’s Office, St. Charles Parish Government and United Way of St. Charles.It worked.

“This is really a fantastic program,” Sheriff Greg Champagne said, still sitting in the television studio during the second shooting of “Inside SCSO” with Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Patrick Yoes. “It’s great for everybody and great for students to be in a professional atmosphere.”

It’s programming that Champagne said the Sheriff’s Office could not afford to produce or air with a major television station yet they’re doing it here – and with students. With the Satellite Center, he said, the price is right – “It costs us nothing.” He also welcomed the opportunity to participate in a program that helps prepare students for the job market.

Yoes added the show allows the Sheriff’s Office “to promote current and relevant crime prevention initiatives designed to empower residents, as well as fosters a better understanding of the inner workings of the Sheriff’s Office.

“Add to this mix the very talented students in Mr. Albert DuPont’s Advanced TV Broadcasting class who helps produce ‘Inside SCSO’ and we have a perfect community collaboration,” he said.

Yoes said the Sheriff’s Office recognizes its success is directly related to the support received from the community. The Sheriff’s Office has produced several educational videos over the past two years, which are available through its website and social media.

“We understand that the more residents know about their surroundings and community, the more empowered they are to make a difference,” he said. “To accomplish this, we have a strong electronic and social media presence. “This is why video production is a natural progression of this mission.

“Our goal is to expand on this form of media,” he said of the office’s new Training and Special Services Complex under construction next door to the Sheriff’s Office that will include a video production studio.

Since May 2010, the St. Charles Parish government has had the cameras rolling for its talk show with help from the Satellite Center.The story is simple.

“The Satellite Center offers state-of-the-art equipment and training that we would never be able to reproduce ourselves,” said Renee Allemand Simpson, public information officer with the St. Charles Parish government. “We have been extremely grateful for their assistance in helping us create another communication tool to showcase local government to parish residents.”


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