Lafayette Parish (LA) Sheriff’s Office Wins COPS Office Photo Contest
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) is pleased to feature the Lafayette Parish (LA) Sheriff’s Office (LPSO) as its “Community Policing in Action” Photo Contest winner for January 2022.
The winning photo features LPSO Deputy Oscar Benoit greeting Joe Green, a local resident, during a community walk in May 2021. Green is a member of 100 Black Men, an organization that connects local youth with positive mentors and role models that can help them achieve success. The organization is just one of many that the LPSO has partnered with to strengthen bonds with its community members, which is the focus of the office’s community walks.
According to Benoit, who serves as the LPSO’s Community Services Unit Outreach Liaison, the walks are an opportunity for residents, young and elderly alike, to talk freely with law enforcement. Community walks serve as a platform for residents to ask questions, as well as provide feedback and information, to LPSO officers. Plus, the open dialogue and positive interactions between officers and community members set a good example for younger residents, who can see that law enforcement can be associated with friendliness, not fear. Says Benoit, “You can make a difference by doing just one thing, making one connection.”
View the winning photo on the COPS Office website, as well as on the COPS Office’s official Twitter profile and Facebook page. LPSO’s commitment to community policing and its dedication to protecting members of the Lafayette Parish community are also chronicled in the January 2022 edition of the COPS Office e-newsletter, the Community Policing Dispatch.
The COPS Office is the federal component of the Department of Justice responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. The only Department of Justice agency with policing in its name, the COPS Office was established in 1994 and has been the cornerstone of the nation’s crime fighting strategy with grants, a variety of knowledge resource products, and training and technical assistance. Through the years, the COPS Office has become the go-to agency for law enforcement agencies across the country and continues to listen to the field and provide the resources that are needed to reduce crime and build trust between law enforcement and the communities served. The COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 135,000 officers.