Champagne capping end to historic 2nd term as NSA President 

As Greg Champagne winds down his second term as the President of the National Sheriff’s Association, he feels a sense of pride – he was the first person in the 83-year history of the organization to ever be elected by his peers for a second term.

But at the same time, he’s ready to step aside.

“It’s been a great experience, but I am happy it’s coming to an end,” said Champagne, who traveled to Oklahoma City last week for the NSA’s annual conference, his last as organization president. “It’s obviously a lot of work … coupled with (his responsibilities) with the Sheriff’s Office here, it is kind of like an extra job, so I’ll be glad to be able to settle back down and take some time away from all the traveling. 

“I’ll still be involved, but it’ll obviously be some lower-temperature work … I’m ready to hand the baton off.”

Champagne became the President of the National Sheriff’s Association for the second time as he was officially sworn in on Jan. 26, 2023. It made him the first two-time president in the organization’s near 83-year history.

The first part of his term saw him fulfill the unexpired term of retiring NSA President William Bohnyak of Orange County, Vermont. After the time period Bohnyak’s term was to have expired last summer, Champagne was reinstalled as president to serve out a term of one full year. 

Champagne has served as a NSA board member for 19 years and has held virtually every leadership position within the organization, including chair of the Legal Affairs Committee. He is a member of The NSA Congressional Affairs Committee, Global Affairs Committee and Homeland Security Committee.

The National Sheriffs’ Association was chartered in 1940 and is a professional association dedicated to serving the Office of Sheriff and its affiliates through law enforcement education and training, and through the provision of general law enforcement informational resources. The NSA represents thousands of sheriffs, deputies and other law enforcement, public safety professionals, and concerned citizens nationwide.

The National Sheriffs’ Association headquarters is located in Alexandria, Virginia and offers police training, police information, court security training, jail information and other law enforcement services to sheriffs, deputies, and others throughout the nation. 

Champagne’s seen several milestones over his career in law enforcement. In 2020, he became the longest tenured sheriff in St. Charles Parish history as he was sworn in for his seventh consecutive term, surpassing former sheriffs Lewis Ory and Leon Vial Sr., each of whom served approximately 23 years in the position.

Prior to this tenure, Champagne previously served as the NSA president during 2016-17 term.

Due to vacancies in the ranks of NSA officers, he was approached with the idea of stepping up to the presidency for a second time, a request Champagne called humbling. 

“When a lot of sheriffs say that you led us well and we’d like you to do it again, it means a lot to me,” Champagne said. “That so many of them trusted me enough and liked the way I lead … it’s a great thing to be a part of this, to be a Sheriff and a part of history.”

Champagne has traveled the world through his work with the NSA. 

In May, he was part of an intercontinental delegation of chiefs of police and senior law enforcement executives that convened in Krakow, Poland, to participate in the International March of the Living, a formal remembrance of the horrors of the Holocaust. The event serves as a demonstration of commitment to countering antisemitism and hatred and targeted violence against all vulnerable communities.

In November, he traveled to Israel following the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas. 

“It was horrifying … we saw first-hand the communities that were burned, ravaged, destroyed. There was still blood on the walls in homes. We saw videos that were taken by terrorists – it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It was an eye-opening, very somber experience,” Champagne said. 

“(The experience as NSA President) could be overwhelming and emotional at times … I wouldn’t trade it, but I am happy to be able to step aside and settle down a little bit.”

 

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