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Tribute To Sheriff Charles A. Fuselier, National Sheriff Of The Year

Sen. John Bennett Johnston

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Mr. President, it is with great pleasure that I rise to honor Sheriff Charles Fuselier who has been named sheriff of the year by the National Sheriffs' Association. The renowned national Ferris E. Lucus Award presented annually by the National Sheriff's Association, recognizes the accomplishments, outstanding public service and strong leadership qualities of its recipient. Of the forty-two sheriffs in the Nation to have been nominated, Sheriff Fuselier holds the distinction of being the first sheriff from Louisiana to receive this most prestigious award.

Sheriff Fuselier, who is currently serving his fifth term in office, is a very valuable resource both to St. Martin Parish and the State of Louisiana. He has demonstrated time and time again his dedication to the citizens of St. Martin Parish through his many accomplishments which have touched the lives of many people and had an overwhelmingly positive impact on the State as a whole.

When Sheriff Fuselier took office in 1980, the staff consisted of 28 deputies. Currently, the sheriff's office boasts a 160 deputy staff. This is just one of the many instances where Sheriff Fuselier recognized a critical need and took the necessary steps to better serve the people of St. Martin Parish. Other examples of his leadership and dedication include the establishment of law enforcement centers, parish prisons and a special emergency reaction team. Sheriff Fuselier has not only recognized the law enforcement needs of the parish but also the individuals under his care with the implementation of an inmate rehabilitation program.

Due to his tireless efforts to enhance the delivery of law enforcement services and combat the victimization of older persons, Sheriff Fuselier was instrumental in creating the first TRIAD program in the Nation in Louisiana. He heard about the TRIAD concept at a national FBI forum, knew it would help the people of St. Martin Parish and began a TRIAD program within weeks of having heard about it. Thus having earned the title ``Father TRIAD,'' he has also instructed and moderated numerous TRIAD workshops and seminars providing assistance to develop TRIAD programs throughout Louisiana and the Nation.

Through his work on a myriad of law enforcement task forces, study groups, and commissions, Sheriff Fuselier has made many very important contributions to the Louisiana Sheriffs' Association and the National Sheriffs' Association. In fact, Sheriff Fuselier served in every position of the Louisiana Sheriffs' Association and also in many capacities on the National Sheriffs' Association such as the crime prevention committee and the national TRIAD advisory board.

I congratulate Sheriff Fuselier on receiving this very prestigious award and also on his contributions to the State and national criminal justice system. His achievements are truly an inspiration and the national sheriff of the year award is well deserved.