New Sheriff's Substation to Ease Tension - KLFY News 10

New Sheriff's Substation to Ease Tension

Sheriff Sid Hebert Sheriff Sid Hebert

It's intended to mark the end of a tense chapter in the city's history.

It's the same street corner where tear gas thrown by the Sheriff's Department outraged a community.

Now, just feet from where the gas was thrown into a crowd, is the city's first Sheriff's Substation. Revealing its name also revealed his intentions for the building.

Sheriff Sid Hebert told TV 10 that the building was still unnamed because he believes the community should name it.

Inside the building there is plenty of room. Not just for the Sheriff's Department but also for community programs and community meeting space.

Chief of Staff David Landry says the goal is help the west end community prosper.

To reach that goal the building is also home to programs devoted to small business development. A bike patrol headquarters is inside, intended to beef up neighborhood safety. Also housed in the center are nonprofits devoted to helping people get back on their feet.

The center's name will be chosen by the community within a few months, but the meaning behind this marker was made clear. The sheriff referred to the sign as a "tombstone for the past."

A spiritual coalition is also based in the center.  It consists of ministers working to become more visible in the community.

Their goal is to empower people in the neighborhood with job training and counseling on a variety of life skills.

Tensions began last September when the Sheriff's Department threw tear gas in a crowd to attempt to control a street party after the Sugar Cane Festival.

A public backlash followed when, a month later, a representative claiming to be with "the new black panther party" demanded change within the department.

In November plans were made to open the substation as a way to help the city overcome tensions.

Jeremy Campbell

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