St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne will make history next year when he is once again sworn in as president of the National Sheriffs’ Association. It will be the first time in the 82-year history of the organization for any sheriff to serve twice as president.
Champagne previously served as the NSA president during 2016-17 term.
“I am excited about making history as the first repeat president,” Champagne said. “I am confident that my previous experience will help me assist the organization in being effective across the country in getting the sheriffs’ message out and providing support to our 3080 sheriffs.”
This summer Champagne was sworn in as the 1st vice president of the NSA at the organization’s annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri.
“I decided to run for the NSA Board of Directors in 2003 and to my surprise was elected after a vigorous campaign at our annual conference that year,” he said. “In 2008, I decided to run for Sgt. At Arms and that began my seven-year path to becoming president of the NSA in 2016. I have literally served in every leadership position that the organization has. Since I have previously served as both vice president and president, I am fully aware of the responsibilities and tasks ahead. I must remain keenly aware of all events affecting law enforcement and sheriffs nationwide. These involve border issues, mental health issues, rising crime nationwide and both proposed legislation in congress as well as pending court decisions.”
Champagne said he is also part of the organization’s legal affairs committee.
“We routinely get involved in U.S. Supreme Court Cases and have filed amicus briefs in several important cases,” he said. “We have had a great deal of success in positively influencing court decisions with our filings.”
As vice president of the organization this year, Champagne will travel around the country in support of the president and the organization carrying the message to various state sheriff’s associations.
“For example, I plan to attend a gathering of several sheriff associations coming up in September in Arizona near the southern border to bring attention to the absurdity of the current border policy of the administration,” he said.
The NSA 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. NSA represents thousands of sheriffs, deputies and other law enforcement, public safety professionals and concerned citizens nationwide.
Champagne said he has been greatly impacted by the NSA.
“I began attending National Sheriff’s Association Conferences in 1997 during my first full year in office. I had not even dreamed of ever serving on the board, much less becoming president of the organization,” he said. “I was amazed at how much I learned about the latest techniques and ideas/ projects designed to both keep citizens notified and to protect our communities. There have been many programs that I implemented which have worked extremely well. Many of these I learned about from other sheriffs around the country.”
He said NSA events have helped him look up and see the bigger picture.
“Sometimes, sheriffs tend to stay focused on local politics and I truly believe it prevents them from viewing the management of a sheriff’s office as a long-time proposition that must be continually re-evaluated lest the agency becomes stagnant,” he said. “True change and improvement takes time. A large organization cannot be turned on a dime. It takes planning, vision, and the ability to self-critique. Leadership courses have really only come into vogue in recent years and I have fully embraced it agency wide. It is ongoing and has without a doubt made us a better crime fighting and service-oriented agency.”
He said his involvement with the NSA has also kept him informed on technology improvements for law enforcement.