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Honoring Sheriff Charles A. Fuselier, Sheriff Of The Year

Rep. James A. Hayes

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Mr. Speaker, when I heard that my friend of over 25 years was being honored by the National Sheriff's Association as ``Sheriff of the Year,'' I was gratified to know that the national law enforcement community was finally acknowledging what the citizens of St. Martin Parish and all of Acadiana have known for a long time--that Charles August Fuselier is one of the most effective, top flight sheriffs in the country.

In his statement, Sheriff Fuselier said he was ``shocked'' to learn of his selection by the National Sheriff's Association. He should not have been. Charles Fuselier's dedication to public service and the protection of the public in his rural South Louisiana Parish is unparalleled. Like his father before him, Sheriff Fuselier demonstrates every day total commitment to making St. Martin Parish a safer place to live, work, and raise a family.

Through his leadership and his work on the Triad Program, St. Martin Parish became a testing ground and model for all of America in preventing crimes against our senior citizens. The Triad forms a coalition between local sheriffs, police chiefs, and senior citizens' groups to reduce the victimization and unwarranted fear of crime which disproportionately plagues senior citizens. By bringing the Triad concept to life, Sheriff Fuselier has opened up the lines of communication with seniors in the community and has made the seniors feel more comfortable and trusting that their interests will be protected.

Sheriff Fuselier once told me that he received more than a 10-fold return on his investments using volunteers, who work in his office 2 to 3 days a week, so that crimes have been quickly resolved because of greater senior participation. While in the Congress I may have worked to ensure Federal involvement in Triad, but Triad is growing across the country because of the efforts and devotion of Sheriff Fuselier. The Triad information network has the potential to be the cornerstone of future crime fighting activities within the seniors community.

I commend the National Sheriff's Association for bestowing my friend with this honor and congratulate Sheriff Fuselier for the great achievement of being named ``Sheriff of the Year.''