The Rev. Donald Brown, Sheriff Mike Tregre, The Rev. K. Maurice Tillman, and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite, front row, with St. John law enforcement officers, at a Blessing of the Badge ceremony Feb. 21 at New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Edgard.


U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite

A Blessing of the Badge service for St. John Parish law enforcement officers was hosted by Pastor K. Maurice Tillman and New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Edgard on Feb. 21.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite was the guest speaker. The Rev. Donald Brown of Providence Baptist Church in Montz and Tillman offered a “spiritual cover” over law enforcement officers and prayers of protection, strength, and peace as well as for the overall well-being of officers. Tillman also thanked the Sheriff’s Office for its service and encouraged  residents and law enforcement officers to work together to build positive relationships within the community.

Sheriff Mike Tregre

As the son and brother of police officers, Polite said law enforcement has a special place in his heart. “When I meet a law enforcement officer, I am meeting a family member,” he told the group of officers and church members gathered in the sanctuary.

Polite told officers, “This is no simple job. … Your job is the most difficult and complex in society.  â€¦  Police officers are ordinary people who are called to do extraordinary things … in an effort to serve and protect communities,” Polite said.

Improving safety in the community and strengthening relationships between law enforcement and the residents the sheriff’s office serves are priorities, said Sheriff Mike Tregre, addressing residents and officers. Polite also commended law enforcement officers for their dedication and service as they put their lives on the line each day in their challenging role; and he acknowledged deceased deputies of the St. John Sheriff’s Office.

The Rev. K. Maurice Tillman leads a prayer during a Blessing of the Badge ceremony Feb. 21 at New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Edgard.

“We strive to make our community safe. We are here to serve and protect … And, our job is to earn and maintain your respect as we do this,” Tregre told residents. 

Trege also talked about a Cops and Clergy program he plans to begin soon and the overhauled Patrol Division, which was renovated by inmates.

Rev. Earnest August Jr.

Sgt. Jose Rel

Other officers participating in the ceremony were the Rev. Earnest August Jr., who offered the opening scripture; and Sgt. Jose Rel, who spoke about the history of the St. John Sheriff’s Patch.

Div. A Judge Madeline Jasmine gave the introduction of Polite.