All Information Deemed to be Correct, But Subject to Change Without Notice
Sheriff: ‘Deck the malls with safety first’
The day after Thanksgiving will kick off what is predicted to be the biggest shopping day of the year. Anxious shoppers and retailers all look forward to this day all year.
Shoppers make their lists and check them twice. But they are probably neglecting to check their safety. Just how safe is shopping at this time of year? Perhaps not nearly as safe as people assume it to be, according to Claiborne Parish Sheriff Ken Bailey, especially if people shop alone.
This time of year has a tendency to attract more shopping-related criminal activity because of larger crowds and extended store hours. These factors, combined with the usual distractions related to shopping, create a more favorable environment for petty thieves and other offenders.
In light of these factors, Bailey warns shoppers to be on their guard so that they do not become one of the tens of millions of people a year who are victimized by some sort of criminal activity.
Across the U.S., malls and shopping centers are heightening security measures by hiring additional security personnel and installing surveillance cameras in areas such as parking lots and entrance ways.
“Unfortunately, when shopping, people sometimes have a tendency to become distracted and lose sight of their personal safety,” Bailey said. “However, there are several precautions busy shoppers can take to help eliminate their chances of becoming a crime statistic.”
Those safety precautions include:
Always try to shop with another person. A single shopper is the ultimate target for theft.
When going shopping, make sure you tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to return home.
Plan ahead. If you know you are going to return to your car after nightfall, park in a well-lit area. Note your parking place. Parking lots have a tendency to look very different as cars come and go.
If you are in a store and sense that you are being followed, locate a store employee or security personnel. Be prepared to give them a complete description of the person you suspect.
If carrying cash, keep it in a front pocket. This makes it more difficult for a pickpocket to remove.
Store car keys in a pant or jacket pocket. If your purse is stolen, you will still be able to drive home.
Take only one or two credit cards and a couple of checks with you.
Make a list of all credit card numbers and the numbers to call in case they are lost or stolen. This will make the incident a lot easier to report.
If you feel uneasy returning to your car alone, find a security guard and ask him to walk you to your car.
When returning to your car, check around it and in the back seat.
Have your car keys in your hand to avoid spending unnecessary time unprotected from the security of your vehicle.
“By taking these simple safety precautions, you are kicking off your holiday season in a responsible, savvy way,” Bailey concluded. Don’t let some would-be criminal ruin your holiday season. Be on guard!”
Sheriff offers safe driving tips
According to the American Automobile Association, approximately 39.7 million drivers will be hitting the road during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, a 12 percent increase from 2009.
Last year, the Louisiana State Police reported eight fatal crashes and 16 deaths across the state during the Thanksgiving holiday period of November 27 through November 29, 12 of the 16 occupants that were killed this past holiday were not wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash. Four of these crashes are suspected to be alcohol related.
“What a lot of people need to understand is that a high percentage of traffic fatalities are the result of poor decision-making,” Claiborne Parish Sheriff Ken Bailey said. “These are tragic and needless deaths. I urge all motorists to protect themselves and their fellow travelers by practicing the following simple, safe driving tips.”
Don’t drink and drive. If you suspect a driver is intoxicated, do not follow too closely because he or she may make sudden stops.
Buckle up. This is one of the most effective methods to protect against injury or death in a motor vehicle crash.
Use approved child restraints. Louisiana law requires that all children age 1 year or less than 20 pounds ride in rear-facing child safety seats; ages 1-3 or 20-39 pounds in forward-facing child safety seats; ages 4-5 or 40-60 pounds in a booster seat, and 6-12 or greater than 60 pounds may use an adult seatbelt.
Avoid distracted driving. Distracted drivers continue to endanger the public by using cell phones, operating electronics or eating food while driving. A safe driver is a focused driver. Remember, text messaging is illegal in Louisiana while driving.
Slow down and obey the speed limits. Studies show that higher travel speeds are responsible for a significant increase in highway traffic deaths.
Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation and fatigue can cause lapses in attention, slowed awareness and impaired judgment.
Be extra cautious around large trucks. These vehicles have larger blind spots and much longer stopping distances than passenger cars.
Don’t tailgate. Follow other vehicles at a safe distance.
Expect the unexpected. Watch traffic around your vehicle and be prepared to react. Scan the road ahead for potential hazards such as other vehicles and road debris.
Be extra alert around construction zones.
Take frequent breaks to keep alert during long distance trips.
“Safe travel ultimately comes down to the people on the roads,” Bailey said. “The individuals behind the wheel are not only responsible for themselves and their passengers, but responsible for all the other travelers they share the roads with at a given time. Every thought and every action counts.”
Sheriff Warns of Scams
The Guardian-Journal 01/19/2012
The Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office would like to warn citizens of several scamps that have been reported in the area.
One instance consisted of two men posing as “government employees” gaining entry into the residence of an elderly couple. The subjects told the elderly couple that in order to possibly receive government assistance with their utilities, they would have to measure each of the rooms in the house.
While one suspect kept the couple busy in one area of the house, the other suspect took money from another area of the residence.
A second instance involves emails, faxes or phone calls received from various people regarding different types of money exchanges. They generally consist of a scenario in which you would transfer, wire or deposit money into an account and they promise a portion of their funds will be given to you.
Many of them report some type of political problem with a foreign country or a sudden death or disaster causing their hardship. The suspects are generally begging for your help.
Sheriff Ken Bailey would like to remind you to please be very careful with any information regarding your finances and do not fall prey to these scams. Here are a few tips to remember:
If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Get everything in writing.
Ask detailed questions about the offer, including the total price and fees, interest rate, delivery date, return or cancellation policy and any warranty terms.
Think about the offer before you sign. If you feel pressured, do not sign the agreement. Take the contract home and read the fine print.
Research the company or charity. Does the company have an office, or just a mailbox? Does the phone number match the address? When hiring a contractor, check references and negotiate a payment schedule tied to the completion of work.
Never disclose your credit card, bank account or Social Security numbers to someone who contacts you by telephone or Internet.
Do not deposit a check or money order that you receive from a work-at-home offer or a sweepstakes. When they ask you to send money back to them, you will be sending your own money, because they sent you a phony check or money order.
Never pay an upfront fee in order to collect a lottery or sweepstakes prize. If they ask you for money before you can collect a prize, then it’s a scam.
Check for fraud on your credit card billing statements and credit reports. Keep all of your paperwork, including copies of any complaints you file against a business.
Password protect your financial and utility accounts and vital personal records with a clue that is not easily determined.
As for identification from the individual at the door if they identify themselves as a local, state or federal employee, they will have some form of government identification. Most companies, such as UPS, FedEx or Entergy require their employees and subcontractors to wear a company shirt and/or an identification card.
Anyone having information about this or anyone encountering these situations should contact the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office immediately at 318-927-2011.
CPSO receives grants for various programs
The Guardian-Journal 12/11/08
The Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement awarded more than $11 million — $11,400,000 to be exact – in grant funds to state and local law enforcement agencies.
Judy Dupuy, executive director of the commission, credited both the Department of Justice and revenue from the state tobacco tax, which is set aside for state DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Grants) programs in helping to fund these programs and projects.
In Claiborne Parish, several thousands of dollars was disbursed to various programs. The Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force received $17,478; the Victim’s Assistance Program received $17,934; and the DARE program received $20,638.
Statewide, a breakdown of the LCLE grant awards shows that in the drug control and violent crime area, there were 67 grants totaling $1,407,607; in juvenile justice programs, a total of 70 grants were awarded totaling more than $971,000. In the victim services and violence against women area, a total of 170 grants were awarded totaling nearly $5 million.
In the DARE area, a total of 84 grants were awarded totaling more than $3,174,000. State and local law enforcement agencies, crime labs, nonprofit victim and women service agencies were the recipients of these grants. The remaining grants covered criminal history record improvements, residential substance abuse treatment and forensic labs.
The chairman of the commission, Sheriff Jeff Wiley of Ascension Parish, proclaimed this “a great day to assist the efforts of law enforcement and criminal justice.”
Further information on the grants awarded is available on the commission’s website at www.lcle.la.gov.
CPSO offers help to victims of crime
The Guardian-Journal 12/04/08
Life is often uncertain and can leave us feeling powerless in many circumstances.
There are times when we do not have choices – they are made for us. A criminal can inflict physical or emotional harm to an innocent person, causing a chain of events that can be devastating to their lives. In many cases, physical injuries leave a victim with medical bills that arise as a result of a crime and the victim has no insurance coverage.
Emotional trauma can be equally as difficult. We make decisions and choices that affect every area of our lives. Many times, these decisions alter our lives in detrimental ways, but they are our decisions and choices. Victims of violent crimes do not have the same options. Pain and suffering are inflicted upon them with no thought given to how it changes their lives.
The Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office offers many services to our citizens who may find themselves in situations such as these. Our programs include crisis counseling, personal advocacy, criminal justice support, sexual assault advocacy, assistance in filing compensation claims, information and referral to outside agencies and follow up services. These are only a few of the ways we strive to assist victims of crime.
Crime Victim’s Assistance has a long-standing history in the United States. As early as 1965, states began enacting laws and programs to assist victims. People were recognizing the need for legislation to help the victim of a crime, not just to prosecute the offender. The Victims of Crime Act of 1984 was passed by Congress to provide for direct services to be offered to victims of violent crimes. Funding for this program is generated entirely by fines, penalty assessments and forfeited appearance and bail bonds collected by the federal government.
The Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement is the state agency designated by the governor to administer the program in Louisiana. The Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office, through the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement, was awarded funds to establish a crime victim’s assistance program for our citizens.
As a victim of violent crime, our citizens have certain rights awarded by a Louisiana constitutional amendment. Among these rights are the right to receive emergency, social and medical services; the right to apply for financial assistance through the Crime Victim’s Reparations Board; the right to request restitution from the offender; the right to be notified of legal proceedings and be present and heard at all critical stages of the proceedings; the right to a reasonably prompt conclusion of the case and the right to fill out a victim impact statement. Most importantly, a victim has the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
The Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office places high importance on the rights of victims. We cannot fully impose justice to an offender if we do not consider the lives that offender has affected. To a victim, it may appear that their life is out of control; they have been stripped of their right to make choices. The Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office works to give choices back to the victim. Unfortunately, we cannot predict the time and place of criminal behavior. We cannot change what has already occurred. We can, however, reach out to victims and offer services to assist them on the road to recovery.
Life is about choices. Make the best one for yourself or someone you love. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a violent crime, please contact Deputy Donna McCarty, claims investigator, at the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office at 318-927-9800. You have the right to be treated with compassion and fairness. We believe one person can make a difference; two people can make profound progress; standing together, we can change things.
A message from your victim’s rights advocate
The Guardian-Journal 10/23/08
Periodically, it is important for us to take stock of our lives.
In this time of severe financial upheaval, many times “taking stock” involves readjusting expenditures and searching for additional means of income. Taking stock also involves evaluating who we are and what we believe.
The Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office would like to assure you that we “take stock” of our parish and the services we offer our citizens many times a year. We strive to improve existing programs and consistently create new avenues of service.
In the past year, Sheriff Ken Bailey has implemented the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) in Claiborne Parish. This is a vital tool utilized to assist victims of rape.
The Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office will do everything in its power to obtain favorable results for a victim following this type of violence.
The sheriff’s office works in conjunction with the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) of Shreveport, Homer Memorial Hospital and the physicians and other staff there to assist victims of any type of sexual assault.
Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in sexual assaults as well as other violent crimes. Domestic violence has increased and victims are in need of assistance. Innocent victims are everyone’s responsibility.
We must always gauge our response to victims by asking ourselves, “What if this was a member of my family?” Our perspective changes when we make a concerted effort to understand how victims feel. They depend on us for help and we are there.
The Crime Victim’s Program of the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office has been in operation for many years, but in recent years, has been expanded tremendously. This has been made possible by funding through the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement.
The Crime Victim’s Assistance Program has a variety of services to offer victims of crime. Many of our citizens do not have information regarding this program, and we want to “take stock” now by making sure you have the information you need.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a crime, please contact Deputy Donna McCarty, claims investigator for the sheriff’s office at 318-927-9800. We believe one person can make a difference; two people can make profound progress; and standing together, we can change things.
A Message from the Sheriff... ‘Justice for Victims, Justice for All’
The Guardian-Journal 04/17/08
The Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office wishes to recognize the 2008 National Crime Victim’s Rights Week. This week, April 13-19, has been set aside to recognize all victims and the impact crime has on them.
Statistics of crime in our nation are truly alarming. Violence permeates every area of our lives. The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime sponsors recognition of this week as a time to reflect on the victims of these crimes and the arduous journey they travel to reestablish their lives after such violations. Because crime can strike anyone at any time, victims’ rights are everyone’s responsibility.
In the United States of America’s pledge of allegiance to our flag, we state, “…and justice for all.” In order to achieve justice for all, we cannot simply concentrate on the arrest and sentencing portion of crime. While this is a very important aspect of our society, we must remember that for every crime committed, there is a victim who has been traumatized.
Because crime has a rippling effect on our society, the individual victim will not be the only person who suffers. Victims’ families and friends are also affected by the trauma imposed on the victim. Families are torn apart, hearts are broken that cannot be mended, and families are left in the aftermath trying to maintain some semblance of order in their lives. It is the goal of the sheriff’s office to serve and protect each and every citizen in Claiborne Parish. In our efforts to do that, we want to remember the innocent people who are striving to rebuild their lives.
As citizens in one of the greatest nations on earth, and as members of the human race, it is our duty and obligation to help people who have been victimized by crime. We have no control over criminals and the choices they make, but we can assist the innocent people these criminals prey on.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a crime, please contact Deputy Donna McCarty, claims investigator, at the sheriff’s office, criminal investigative division, at 318-927-9800. We believe one person can make a difference; two people can make profound progress; standing together, we can change things.
Danger Facing Children On The Internet
BY SUSAN T. HERRING, Editor, The Guardian-Journal 05/24/07
Webster Parish Detective Scotty Tucker conducted a workshop in Claiborne Parish last week at the request of Sheriff Ken Bailey, to provide information to the public on the danger facing our children over the internet. He said the Northwest Louisiana ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) Task Force formed last August, began as a 2-day training session last summer by the State Attorney General’s Office.
In those two days, they had 19 people online trying to meet 12-14 year old teens. Bossier City Marshal Johnny Wyatt immediately realized there was a problem in this area and decided to form the task force, which he did with the support of the AG office. Since that time, the Task Force has made approximately 187 arrests.
Tucker said, “Our mission is to protect the children from sexual exploitation and to educate parents, families and communities, and to take these type offenders off the street.”
Molestation of a child no longer means you have to touch a child. Tucker said, “These guys molest a child in ways we cannot imagine, in their minds, warping our kids.”
There are two types of sex offenders: situational and preferential. Situational offenders are not looking for victims, they just take advantage of a situation when it arises. Preferential offenders, the type the Task Force is dealing with, will go to great lengths to gain access to our children—by employment, volunteering, and even marriage.. On average, they spend 6-8 hours on the internet every day.
Tucker said he gave this same talk at Lakeside High School recently. The following day, two students started talking. They ended up arresting Lakeside Softball Coach James Jared Thompson, 24, of Homer. He was charged with indecent behavior with a juvenile and computer solicitation involving juveniles for sexual purposes.
Another case involved a man from Minden who met a woman from Dallas over the internet. She was employed, he was not. He offered to babysit her children. They develop a relationship and within 2 months they are married. He convinces her to move to Minden, with her two young daughters. Two weeks after the move, he rapes the 2-year-old. Agents then discover he has also raped the 4-year-old.
In another case, a girl from Arkansas met what she thought was a 15-year-old boy from San Diego on the internet, in a Christian chat room. The boy was actually a 56-year old predator. He was able to learn her name, school, church and softball team. He drove to Arkansas and kidnapped the girl. One of her friends saw the van and gave a description to the police. An officer in another town spotted the van and called in a SWAT team. The man ran inside a building, then shoots and kills himself. The girl’s nude body is found in the van. She had been chained, raped, and beaten to death. This was a few of the real life stories Tucker shared with participants.
About 80% of youth age 7-18 receive inappropriate emails daily and some will write something online they would not have said in person.
To protect your children, do not place the computers in an isolated area such as a bedroom; put in an area open to others. Tell your children never to give out any personal information on-line. Even an innocent posting of pictures with school uniforms or jackets will help a predator track a child. Other tips include: 1) learn everything you can about computers; 2) communicate with your children, 3) make sure your children don’t divulge too much information; and 5) consider using computers or internet management software.
Tucker said during the most recent operation, the NWICAC Task Force arrested Jimmy Yates of Shreveport, Aaron Hare of Sulphur, Steven Rider of Jennings, Bobbie C. Durning of Ozark, Arkansas, Michael McCowen of Minden, Kevin D. Haltom of Bossier City, Charles Anthony Scheidel of LaPlace, Patricia Hold of LaPlace, Chris Gene Bourgeois of Jennings, Paul Paben of Bossier City, Clarence Butler of Corpus Christi, Texas, Matthew Paben of Bossier City, Samuel Ticheli of West Monroe, and Frank Vincent Cordaro of Ruston.
NWICAC Task Force Agents have presented this information to over 3,500 children and adults since the Task Force was formed. To arrange a presentation in your area, contact the Task Force through the Bossier City Marshal’s office at 318-741-8855. For more information, go to the Louisiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force website at http://www.icac.ag.state.la.us/
Claiborne Parish Upgrades E-911 System
BY SUSAN T. HERRING, Editor, The Guardian-Journal 04/05/07
The Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office recently completed renovation of the new dispatch center with state-of-the-art Emergency 9-1-1 equipment. E-911 Director Scott Greeson said, “This is a great time for Claiborne Parish as we have been able to replace the old, antiquated answering equipment with the most cutting edge, technologically advanced equipment on the market.”
A Computer Telephony Integration Solution along with comprehensive Digital Mapping Display System was installed that will show the location of a call within Claiborne Parish, a feature not previously available. This equipment allows the Sheriff’s Office, who serves as Public Service Answering Point (PSAP) for the entire parish, to save precious seconds needed to save lives when answering an E-911 call.
Both systems give the Sheriff’s Office and Claiborne E-911 an advanced networking solution that will enable the community to build, operate and enhance the efficiency and response effectiveness of the E-911 system.
Phase II, which should be online within the next couple of months, will allow fast and easy location of wireless calls inside the parish.
Greeson said, “We have been able to set the cornerstone of a GIS system that will not only benefit E-911 and the Sheriff’s Office, but also any local, state, or federal agency that might come to Claiborne Parish.”
Sheriff Bailey said, “The Claiborne Sheriff’s Dispatch Office is now a model for other agencies throughout Louisiana.”
Dennis Butcher, who serves as director for the Office of Emergency Preparedness, said they are now working on a “Reverse 911” alert system that will allow the office to call and notify Claiborne Parish residents in the event of a major event such as a tornado or storm. The system will have the capacity to call every residence in the parish in less than ten (10) minutes, or only the phone numbers in selected areas.
Bids will be opened this month on an alert system for Homer and Haynesville. This will be a loud audible sound and should be online by late summer.
Renovation of the Dispatch Office and installation of the new E-911 Equipment was done through the joint effort of the Department of Homeland Security, the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Claiborne Parish Communications District (E-911), and the Claiborne Parish Police Jury.
Sheriff Offers Tips To Protect Teens From Cyberbullies
Bullying used to be very straighforward, simple....some big kid picks on a smaller, weaker one. Sheriff Bailey says, “In this day of computers and sophisticated technology, bullying has taken a turn from the playground to cyberspace. Instant messaging, cell phones, and the Internet have drastically changed things. The problem is called cyberbullying.”
Cyberbullying is the use of the Internet, cell phones, or other technology to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person.
Sheriff Bailey says, “For the cyberbully, it is easy. There’s no fear of being found out, and even if he identifies himself, he doesn’t actually see the person’s reaction. He doesn’t see the hurt and pain he causes. But for the victim, it’s a different story. It causes shame, anger, embarrassment and fear. And some victims even may want to seek revenge.”
It has been determined that more than four in ten teens reported being victims of cyberbullying in the past year. And only 10 percent of those victimized in the “virtual world” ever tell their parents about it.
In a recent study conducted by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), teens admitted that their parents often think they know what they do online, but really don’t. Casual supervision can lead teens to misuse online technology.
According to wiredsafety.org. the incidence of cyberbullying is far more commonplace than most of us think. Here are the organization’s latest statistics on the growing problem:
90% of middle school students have had their feelings hurt online.
75% have visited a Web site bashing another student,
40% have had their password(s) stolen and changed by a bully who then locked them out of their own account or sent communications posing as them.
Only 15% of parents polled knew what cyberbullying was.
To deal with this new threat to teens and preteens, Sheriff Bailey joins the NCPC to help parents. Below are a few tips developed by the NCPC. For further information, go to www.ncpc.org:
Set guidelines: Set rules for Internet use and monitor your teens use of technology (Internet, cell phones, and other devices). As teens get older, they believe their parents should be more concerned with what they see and hear online.
Select a central location: Place your home computer in a central place in your home, such as your kitchen or living room. It is easier to monitor your teen’s Internet use this way.
Discuss the issue: Set expectations for online behavior and discourage your teen from posting others’ personal information contributing to slam sites.
Encourage positive behavior: Make sure your teen is not sending or posting text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person.
Block cyberbullying messages: Learn how you and your teen can ask to block cyberbullying messages through the Internet service provider (ISP), social network site, or chat room moderator. Seventy-one percent (71%) of teens believe this is the most effective way to prevent cyberbullying.
Sheriff Bailey encourages teens to “Delete cyberbullying. Don’t write it. Don’t forward it.”
Help For Victims Of Crime
There are times it seems as if the responsible, law-abiding citizen is the person who suffers the most. Citizens obey the laws, pay their taxes, carry their share of community service and are sometimes victims of violence. If you or a loved one is in this situation, please do not give up hope. Claiborne Parish Sheriff Ken Bailey wants the citizens of our parish to know that beginning October 1, 2006, a program for crime victims in Claiborne Parish will be expanded.
As sub-grantee, The Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office will be in a position to utilize federal funding to offer financial assistance for victims of violent crimes. These crimes include the use of force or threat of use of force. Acts such as these many times leave the victim with expenses for medical bills that insurance does not cover, loss of wages, child care expenses, the need for counseling, and, unfortunately, sometimes even funeral expenses. This program is designed to assist these victims.
According to the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement, in approximately sixty percent (60%) of these crimes according to the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement, the offender is unknown and never arrested. This program provides compensation to victims even without an arrest. There are emergency awards available that may be granted to help with undue hardship caused by the crime. The funds are available and are to help you—the citizens of Claiborne Parish.
If you have been victimized by a violent crime, contact Claims Investigator Deputy McCarty at 318-927-9800 to pursue the possibility of compensation. Appointment times are available Monday through Friday after 4 PM. Other times can be scheduled as necessary for your convenience.
As part of the human race, we have an obligation to “Lend a Helping Hand” to each other. The Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office wants to do out part. Let us know if we can help you.
Sheriff Ken Bailey Issues Warning On Internet Danger
Claiborne Parish Sheriff Ken Bailey would like to talk to the citizens of Claiborne Parish about a potentially dangerous situation. In our age of advanced technology, most of the general public has an enemy in their home. This enemy is a computer in the hands of a minor.
Internet “chat rooms” have become a commonplace form of entertainment for juveniles.. The danger lies in the fact that any person, anywhere, any time, any age, and in any country, can build a profile on themselves (truthful or not) and present this online. Minors have a tendency to view this “chatting” as a game. Unfortunately, it can be a very dangerous one. Some people online in these chat rooms are sexual offenders who use these types of webpages to lure in young children. These sites are not monitored and unregulated. Minors inadvertently divulge information about themselves—even to the extent of giving out their home address, home phone number, and schedules kept by their parents.
Please do not allow your children to “chat” on the internet without your knowledge of the situation. Know who they are talking to. Know what they are discussing and why. Know how much time your child spends in chat rooms. Know your child’s password. Know that your children are safe.
Scam Warning Issued By Sheriff, Police Chief
BY SUSAN T. HERRING, Editor, The Guardian-Journal 06/29/06
Homer Police Chief Russell Mills and Claiborne Parish Sheriff Ken Bailey would like to warn local residents about several scams that have been circulating in recent months. Mills received a complaint last Friday from a local resident who had received a notification in the mail that her name had been drawn from 36,000 names from Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe and Asia, as part of an annual International Promotions Program (IPP). She was given until June 16, 2006 to claim the winning prize money totaling $65,000.
Enclosed with the letter of notification was a check for $2,400 which was the amount it would cost to process the winnings. To ensure legal collection of cash prizes under International Law, the letter stated a winner had to pay a processing fee before funds were released. The enclosed check was to prevent persons from paying fees out of their own pocket. The amount would be deducted from total winnings. Any unclaimed funds, however, would be distributed to different charity organizations.
The lady, who prefers to remain unnamed, was notified she had been selected as a winner on April 24, 2006. She was then instructed in the letter to call an international claims agent for further instructions. She deposited the $2,400 in a separate checking account and waited to make sure the check was good before wiring any money. After several days, the bank informed her it was a fraudulent check. At that point, she filed a complaint with the Homer Police Department.
Chuck Talley, Chief Investigator with the Criminal Investigative Division for the CPSO, said this is typical of how these operations work. His office has received 8-10 complaints in the past 2-3 years where persons were notified they had won a substantial amount of money. A check is included with the letter to cover the cost of processing the award. Persons were instructed to cash the check and go to Western Union and wire that amount of money, only to discover later the check was, in fact, no good. One couple received a bogus check for $5,000 to be used to pay fees on winnings of $100,000. Talley said in every case when he calls the bank in question, he has been told the checks were indeed counterfeit.
When a complaint is received for a company outside the United States, he contacts the FBI. If it is shown that a federal violation has occurred, he meets with the victim and the appropriate federal agency, who will then put the case together and turn it over to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Unless the amount of loss outside this country is $100,000 or more, the FBI, however, will not get involved. Talley said, “Many people are not aware it is illegal to participate in lotteries or any type of gaming, or to accept such prizes outside the United States.”
In all the cases handled by CID, none of the complainants had entered any lottery or sweepstakes. One man was contacted by someone outside the country after listing an item for sell on Ebay.
Chief Mills said, “Just remember the old saying that when something appears to be too good to be true, most of the time that is exactly what it is.”
Both Mills and Sheriff Bailey urge citizens who get notification of any prize winnings in the mail to call their office, Homer Police at 927-4000 or Sheriff’s Office at 927-9800. With identity theft on the rise, they also warn citizens not to release any personal information on bank accounts, Social Security numbers, date of birth, etc.
Sheriff Warns Seniors To Beware Of Scams
BY JIMMY DEAN, Feature Writer, The Guardian-Journal 05/11/06
It was thundering and raining outside Homer City Hall Saturday morning, May 6. Even so, almost 100 came out for the 12th Senior Citizen's Expo sponsored by Triad's SALT (Seniors and Lawmen Together) Council of Claiborne Parish. Fifteen booths had been set up by area organizations that provide products and services of particular interest to seniors.
Early in the program Sheriff Ken Bailey talked about scams that have occurred in Claiborne Parish and the surrounding area. Telling the audience what to look for to spot scams that target the elderly, he said to beware of any stranger asking for a "down payment" before starting work. He advised seniors to be cautious when anyone says they will repair your roof, then asks for partial payment before doing anything. "They'll take the money, then disappear, he said.
Avoid someone offering to do the driveway with a load of "leftover asphalt or leftover concrete. The result is always an inferior job," according to Bailey.
He said pairs of "rug salesmen" have approached older persons, and "while one shows you a rug, the other is going through your house stealing jewelry and other valuables."
Mail scams continue to entice people out of their money. Bailey suggests throwing away mail that includes a big check but requires "a handling fee or processing charge" before the check can be cashed.
Some crooks offer to paint the barn but want a "down payment" first. Before finishing the job, they'll ask for more money, then disappear.
There are a few who claim they are opening a new business. They say they are offering a free appliance or free floor covering. But they first want into the house to measure "to be sure that the carpet fits" or that the "free appliance will fit" where you want it. While in the house, they steal jewelry and other valuables.
Bailey noted that ID theft is growing. He warned NEVER to give over the phone one's social security number, Medicare number, Medicaid number, credit card number, or checking account number. He recommended not doing business over the phone, rather deal with business people in the parish with a local phone number and local address.
Bailey suggested calling the Sheriff's Office about any offer that seems questionable.
State Police Launches New Sex Offender Website
The Louisiana State Police recently announced the addition of a new interactive website for sex offenders at www.lsp.org. Information and photos are provided to help increase public awareness about the presence of sex offenders in local communities and heighten public safety. Sex offenders have 10 days to notify police and the sheriff's office of a new address, however some evacuees have failed to register new addresses. Individuals have the ability to submit corrected or updated information on sex offenders. Of the 54 offenders listed in Claiborne Parish, 31 are presently shown to be incarcerated.
Sheriff Ken Bailey Seeks Citizen Support
BY SUSAN T. HERRING, Editor, The Guardian-Journal 03/02/06
As Sheriff of Claiborne Parish, I would like to discuss an issue very close to each of us—crime prevention. My office is committed to making our neighborhoods safer places to live. By doing so, we will improve the quality of life for individuals and families...both young and old. It is imperative that we seek progress to reduce the negative influences that crime has on our children and to help safeguard the elderly.
In the past year, this office has worked extremely hard to make significant improvements in our parish. Through community-based programs and professionalism, we hope to reduce the number of gun-related crimes, thefts, incidents of domestic violence and other disturbances. An example of our plans and objectives includes:
To provide officers with the resources necessary to improve preparedness and response capabilities.
Promote the importance of Neighborhood Watch programs.
Continue our initiatives in specialized technical training and the lasted crime prevention measures.
Protection of senior citizens from acts of violence, neglect and fraud.
Increased drug awareness through educational programs and services that will give individuals a fighting chance to lead more productive lives.
We hope to see fewer incidents of spousal and child abuse by further developing opportunities for law enforcement to work more closely with shelters and local organizations to provide counseling and support.
We also want to help children by preventing the type of unhealthy bonds that come from the streets. This can be accomplished by providing programs that offer productive activities to occupy their time and attention. These are the type of efforts that can provide positive influences to enable our youth to grow up to be responsible citizens.
I personally want to thank all of you for supporting the Claiborne Parish Sheriff's Office and for the support of these initiatives—those in place now, as well as those in keeping with our objectives.
In addition, I would like to share another unique initiative with you, the Louisiana Sheriffs' Honorary Membership Program, which is supported by citizens committed to making our communities a safer place to live.
This important program enables citizens to make a real difference toward the aforementioned objectives. The Honorary Membership Program is based on the premise that citizens and law enforcement officers alike can collaborate to have a direct impact in our communities. Through membership, citizens can help in a very practical way.
I invite businesses and individuals alike to support our efforts by becoming members. Through your participation in this program, we can continue to provide the resources necessary to make a difference.
Anyone interested in knowing more about this very important program may call 225-383-2871 or write to: 1213 Nicholson Drive, Suite A, Baton Rouge, LA 70802. We will be glad to mail additional information to interested parties.
I strongly urge the residents of Claiborne Parish to consider participating in this honorable program—not only for its monetary support of law enforcement initiatives, but also for the moral support that unites us in building a safer community.
Burglaries Solved By Claiborne Sheriff’s Office
As Reported in The Guardian-Journal 06/23/05
The Claiborne Parish Sheriff's Office received several reports of stolen items on Memorial Day, May 30, from people who have camps on Lake Claiborne according to Sheriff Ken Bailey. Various fishing equipment had been stolen from boats located at the camps, some on Pleasure Point Road and some on Coleman Road. Nine individuals reported stolen items valued at approximately $6,300.
Tony Osbon, a detective with the Lincoln Parish Sheriff's Office, contacted CPSO detectives on Wednesday, June 1 with information related to these burglaries. The following day, CPSO Detective Duffy Gandy traveled to Ruston and met with the Lincoln Parish detectives. The ensuing investigation resulted in the recovery of approximately $4,300 of stolen fishing equipment from the Lake Claiborne area.
On June 14, 2005, three individuals were arrested, each charged with nine counts of simple burlary. Arrested were Michael W. Jones, Jr., 17; Jason W. Ledet, 19; and Gavin Lee Gresham, 17, all of Ruston, with bond set at $45,000.
Traffic Stops Lead To Drug Arrests
As Reported in The Guardian-Journal 02/17/05
Claiborne Parish Sheriff deputies seized approximately one-half pound of marijuana Tuesday night, February 8 according to Sheriff Ken Bailey. At approximately 1:30 PM, Deputy Paul Brazzel stopped Makeitha McRoyal of El Dorado, Arkansas on US Highway 79 south of Homer for speeding. During the traffic stop, Brazzel requested a records check on McRoyal which showed his driver's license had been suspended and that he had a previous arrest for a drug violation. With this information, deputies were given consent to search the vehicle. Deputy Randy Smith and Detective Duffy Gandy arrived on the scene to assist if necessary.
The search of the vehicle produced one-half pound of marijuana underneath the driver's seat. Metro Narcotics Agents were contacted. McRoyal was arrested for possession with intent to distribute Schedule 1 marijuana, speeding, and driving under suspension. He was booked in the Claiborne Parish Detention Center with bond set at $16,000.
Metro Narcotics is currently working with authorities in Caddo Parish and Union County, Arkansas in an attempt to identify the source of these illegal narcotics. Anyone with information about illegal drug activity is urged to contact Metro Agent James Spillers at 318-927-9800, 318-927-2011, or call your local police department.
In a separate incident, Sheriff Deputy Randy Pugh attempted to stop a vehicle for traffic violations on February 10. The driver refused to stop, but with the aid of Homer Police Officer Jimmy Hamilton, Pugh was successful in detaining the vehicle.
In the process of arresting the driver of the vehicle, Antonio L. Brooks, 29, of Homer, deputies discovered he had crack cocaine in his possession. Brooks was charged with numerous traffic violations including driving under suspension, no insurance or registration, expired MVI, unsafe vehicle, in addition to flight from an officer, resisting an officer, and possession of Schedule II narcotics with intent to distribute. He was booked into the Claiborne Detention Center. Bond was set at $19,500.
Authorities Seize $70,000 In Drugs
A joint effort involving the Claiborne Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana State Police, Webster Parish Sheriff's Office, and the Minden Police Department on May 5, 2005, resulted in the arrest of Jarvis B. Warren. Warren was charged with possession with intent to district Schedule I marijuana, possession of over 400 grams of Schedule II crack cocaine, and possession of Schedule I MDMA (ecstasy).
The Claiborne Parish Sheriff's Office reports that "agents observed a hand-to-hand transaction between a convicted drug felon and an unknown subject." When agents tried to talk with them, the unknown subject fled on foot with agents in pursuit.
During the chase, the individual appeared to throw to the ground approximately 1/4 ounce of crack cocaine and a set of weighing scales. Agents eventually caught and detained both the unnamed subject and Jarvis B. Warren. Warrants obtained to search two residences on Pearl Street in Homer led to the seizure of over 18 pounds of marijuana, almost a pound of crack cocaine, and six tablets of ecstasy. Jarvis B. Warren has been charged and booked into Claiborne Parish Detention Center.
As the investigation continued, another search warrant was obtained allowing agents to search the residence of James Warren, an apartment in south Shreveport. This search resulted in the seizure of over $14,000 and some marijuana as well as other materials.
Sheriff Bailey said, "This is the largest overall seizure in Claiborne Parish in recent years." He added that "to take $30,000 worth of marijuana and $40,000 worth of crack cocaine off the streets will make an impact." Bailey added that the seizure of about $18,000 in cash and a 1994 Cadillac will certainly have an adverse impact on the local drug trade.
The investigation is still underway, and Sheriff Bailey asks for anyone's help with this case or any other criminal activity. Reports may be made by calling the Sheriff's Office at 927-2011 or 927-9800 or your local police department.
Sheriff, DA Crack Down On Worthless Checks
BY SUSAN T. HERRING, Editor, The Guardian-Journal, 01/12/06
Claiborne Parish Sheriff Ken Bailey and District Attorney Walter May are teaming up to reduce the number of "hot checks" being written to area businesses. The District Attorney's office has compiled a list of the names of several hundred individuals who have written worthless checks in Claiborne Parish. Although arrest warrants have been issued, these individuals have failed to pick up the bad checks. Beginning next week, the DA's office will publish names of the top ten worst offenders on the list. Then, each week after that, a new list of names will be published in the newspaper until all the outstanding warrants have been satisfied.
Bailey said they have been working on this joint effort for the past several months. "Businesses have to wait too long for their money," he said. "Now we are going to do our part to get these bad checks resolved."
May said in years past it was considered inappropriate for the district attorney's office to pursue these individuals; felt it was mixing civil with criminal offenses. Then the law changed which allowed the DA's office to pursue an individual once a merchant had sent a certified demand letter asking for payment and submitted the proof of receipt of that letter to the DA's office. Today the district attorney's office mails the certified demand letters. By law, a $25 fee is added for every check for the merchant. The Worthless Check Fee Act was passed by the State Legislature to help defray some of the cost to prosecute these cases by requiring the worthless check writer to help bear the cost of the misdeed.
In 2005 alone, the magnitude of the problem is apparent in the total amount of money collected by the district attorney's office for worthless checks_$80,396.74. The office collected $33,601.17 in Claiborne Parish, $26,992.04 in Jackson Parish, and $19,803.53 in Bienville Parish. May said, "Without the support of the sheriff's office, however, this program would not be possible." The sheriff must be willing to make the arrest for the district attorney to prosecute the case.
Sheriff Bailey said, "Our main objective is to get back the money for the merchants, and to stop the problem from reoccurring."
Anyone who receives an insufficient fund check can bring it by the district attorney's office and fill out the appropriate form to begin the process. A certified demand letter with a return receipt requested will be mailed out to the person at the address provided by the merchant or individual. May said, "It is important for the merchant to get accurate information." Store clerks should always ask to see a driver's license to verify the address and identity of the person writing the check by comparing the photo on the license, then record the information and driver's license number on the front of the check so bank stamps won't cover up the valuable information. This gives an accurate address to mail a demand letter if needed, and verifies the identity of the person who writes the check.
For more information on how to handle a worthless check or if you think your name may be on the worthless check list, contact District Attorney Walter May's office in Homer at 927-4862 or visit www.2jdda.org/.
Cocaine, Firearm Arrest Made By CPSO
As Reported in The Guardian-Journal 06/30/05
Claiborne Parish Sheriff Ken Bailey announced Monday that Roy L. Richardson, 39, of Haynesville had been arrested at 12:45 AM on Saturday, June 25, 2005. A search warrant was served at 1490 Bailey Avenue in Haynesville on Friday, June 24, by Metro Narcotics, the Louisiana State Police, the Claiborne Parish Sheriff's Office, Shreveport Police Department Special Response Team and the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office Special Response Team. This arrest was the result of a four month investigation into Richardson's activities.
During the search, law enforcement officers seized crack cocaine, five firearms, and over $1,400 in cash. Richardson was charged with possession with intent to distribute Schedule II CDS (controlled dangerous substance) cocaine and possession of a firearm during the commission of a drug felony. He was transported and booked into the Claiborne Parish Detention Center. Bond will be set by the judge.
Sheriff Bailey said, "The war on drugs is everyone's war, and because of public complaints and the public's assistance through information, officers are able to make arrests like Richardson's."
Bailey offered his thanks to the public for their support and assistance, and asked anyone with information about any crime to please call the Claiborne Parish Sheriff's Office at 927-2011, the Homer Police Department at 927-4000, or the Haynesville Police Department at 624-1311.
Applications Being Taken For "Food For Seniors"
Applications are presently being accepted at Claiborne Community Services for a new program "Food for Seniors". Individuals who are at least 60 years old and meet the financial criteria are eligible to receive a box of food once a month. Elderly couples will be eligible for a box for each person as long as they both qualify. Individuals who live alone must have an income less than $1,009 per month or $12,103 annually. The maximum income for a family of two, both over 60 years, would be $16,237 or $1,354 per month.
The first delivery of food boxes will be Tuesday, August 31. Boxes contain 3 cans juice, 4 cans vegetables, 2 cans fruit, 1 can meat, 2 lb. box cheese, some type of cereal, 2 cans evaporated milk or dry milk, peanut butter or dried beans, and one other item. Boxes can be picked up at the Council on Aging located at 621 South Main Street, behind Hatch and Smith attorney office. If not raining, persons will be able to drive through the CCS parking lot, sign a form and pick up the food box directly off the truck.
If you qualify, individuals are asked to stop by the Community Services office in Homer during regular business hours 8:00 AM - 4:45 PM Monday-Friday to fill out an application, closed for lunch. Persons in Haynesville can sign up in the Council Chambers at Haynesville City Hall on Tuesday, August 17 from 9:00-11:30 AM. Everyone must be signed up no later than Tuesday, August 24. To apply, you must provide proof of income, proof of age, and your social security number. Seniors involved in the food program at Claiborne Council on Aging may sign up there.
Boxes will be distributed at the Office of Community Services in Homer, at City Hall in Haynesville and at the Claiborne Council on Aging in Homer. For more information, call Claiborne Community Services at 927-3557.
Methamphetamine Labs Menacing Claiborne Parish
One Former Meth User Recounts Effects Of His Meth Addiction
BY JIMMY DEAN, Feature Writer, The Guardian-Journal
Methamphetamine is coming to—may already be in—your neighborhood. A local attorney says, "This menace is growing and will get far worse. The wave of misery it will bring is just beginning." Many of us in Claiborne Parish may not know much about meth, not yet. A random check of local arrests for 2003-2005 showed no meth-related arrests in those reviewed for 2003, only 1 for 2004, and 9 already for 2005.
Methamphetamine is invading rural areas that have not in the past been as vulnerable to hard drugs. According to www.about.com, "Methamphetamine is now competing with marijuana as the drug of choice. Meth is readily available throughout Louisiana..The number of clandestine laboratory seizures state-wide has increased significantly. Meth labs are found principally in isolated, rural communities."
A study by the Drug Enforcement Administration shows that the number of police seizures nationwide of meth labs almost tripled, from 3,811 in 1998 to over 10,000 in 2003. The Colorado Alliance for Drug Endangered Children reports that 35% of meth lab raids involved families with children. A recent issue of The Law Enforcement Times reports that 80% of children rescued from meth environments test positive for meth and for chemicals used in making meth. Unfortunately, children being raised in families where an adult is manufacturing meth often experience damage to the brain and other vital organs.
Meth can take several forms from a fine coarse powder to chunks or crystals. Its color ranges from off-white to yellow. Often furnished in plastic wrap, aluminum foil, capsules or tablets, it may be swallowed, injected, or inhaled.
Meth users agree the drive to stay high is to avoid the crash when the drug wears off. The following first-person account gives a glimpse of life after meth....My method of ingestion was smoking. Whether it was with a custom-made pipe, a gutted lightbulb or a scrap of foil, I LOVED smoking crank. For three years I smoked and smoked and smoked. Soon one night turned into two or three nights, and that rapidly progressed to [using meth] being a part of my everyday life. What was once just a party, a cheap thrill, became a way of living. When I finally had to stop... I realized what [meth] had done to my body. First, we'll start with my lungs...
Methamphetamine Task Force Teams Up With OCS
As Reported in The Guardian-Journal 07/14/05
Claiborne Parish Sheriff Ken Bailey, who also serves as a member of the Louisiana Methamphetamine Task Force, on Monday presented equipment to Vicky Haynes and Ellen Hammons, child welfare supervisors for the Office of Community Services. According to Bailey, the Louisiana Methamphetamine Task Force has joined forces with the Office of Community Services in seven parishes: Claiborne, Grant, Natchitoches, Rapides, Webster, Winn and Vernon, to combat child endangerment due to the increasing number of methamphetamine labs.
The Louisiana Meth Task Force was formed last year in these seven parishes to help fight meth production and distribution within the Kisatchie National Forest. Each parish has part of a national forest located inside their borders. Claiborne Parish has more than 19,000 acres of forest land located in the parish.
Sheriff Bailey said, "It takes a lot of manhours to work meth-related cases in the vast acreage of a natural forest."
Claiborne Sheriff Sends Deputy, Bus Drivers To New Orleans
BY SUSAN T. HERRING, Editor, The Guardian-Journal 09/08/05
Claiborne Parish Sheriff's Office sent one deputy, two school buses and four school bus drivers to New Orleans last week to help with the rescue effort. Sheriff Ken Bailey sent Deputy Randy Pugh who is a member of the North Louisiana Sheriff's Association Task Force. Pugh joined Union Parish Sheriff Bob Buckley and several other North Louisiana officers. There were more than 500 deputies from 71 departments across the state.
Pugh arrived at the Command Post located at the Lamar Dixon Expo in Gonzales on Tuesday, August 30. Their first mission was to help secure about 7,000 inmates from an Orleans prison. About 96 inmates were transported to the Claiborne Detention Center, and another 150 inmates have been placed at Wade Correctional Center.
Although officers were ready to go in and begin the boat rescue operation, they were not allowed to because it was too hostile. They were however able to rescue several New Orleans police officers who had been trapped near Harrah's Casino for three days, with no water, no food, and little ammunition.
New Sheriff Ken Bailey Takes Office
BY SUSAN T. HERRING, Editor, The Guardian-Journal 07/08/2004
"When I was in elementary school, there were two things I wanted to be when I grew up—a policeman and a fireman. Now I am both," Sheriff Ken Bailey told those gathered to witness him take his oath of office last Wednesday, June 30. Bailey admitted that when he was first hired as a deputy by then Sheriff J.R. "Snap" Oakes in September 1986, he set a goal of one day becoming sheriff of Claiborne Parish.
Bailey said, "The Claiborne Parish Sheriff's Office belongs to you. It is headquartered in Homer, the parish seat. As your sheriff, I will make sure this agency provides top-quality law enforcement for the citizens of Claiborne Parish."
Bailey had words of thanks for family members, friends, former teachers, and all those who supported him in the recent election. He commended deputies and employees of the Sheriff's Office, saying they had almost 300 years combined experience with an average of 9-10 years per employee. They are very good at what they do.
"It is my privilege to serve you as sheriff of this parish. Let's work together to make this a safe place to work and live," said Bailey. He reached out to Haynesville Police Chief Jim Garner and Homer Police Chief Rodney Hollenshead and said, "Let's work together."
Bailey read the following mission statement for the Sheriff's Office: "We the members of the Claiborne Parish Sheriff's Office exist to protect the life and property under the law, with full respect for citizens, irrespective of race, color, or sex and according to the highest standards of professional skill, integrity and accountability." He said, "The Sheriff's Office values and respects the rights and dignity of all persons. Those who work for the Claiborne Parish Sheriff's Office are expected to exhibit professionalism at all times in their contact with the public."
The Claiborne Parish Profile, including data on population, education, major employers, wages, taxes and more, is available online. Profile is courtesy of Entergy.
Permits Must Be Obtained At E-911 Office
Anyone moving to Claiborne Parish, about to begin construction on new home or building, or needing to have utilities connected, must first obtain a permit from the Claiborne E-911 office in the Claiborne Parish Police Jury Office Complex at 507 West Main on the Courthouse Square. Application must be made no less than two weeks prior to the date the permit will be needed. Permits are $3 (exact amount only). For more information, call Glenda Greer at 927-9400. You can leave name, phone, and directions to address on answering machine. Permits may be picked up only on Monday and Wednesday afternoons from 12:00-4:30 PM.
Where can Voter Registration Forms be obtained?
Official Louisiana Mail Voter Registration Applications (register to vote, change your address or request a name change) are available at the following locations:
Public Service Office
Driver's License Office
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