Law enforcement professionals from three area agencies recently were honored by area Knights of Columbus councils.
Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office Lt. Coy Daigle, Gonzales police officer Stephen Ussery and State Trooper Gregory Handy Jr. each received the plaques during a Sept. 24 banquet in Gonzales.
Daigle, who was named Deputy of the Year, joined the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office in January 2000 as a patrol deputy. In 2002, he spent the year teaching children about the dangers of drugs through the sheriff’s DARE program, Sheriff Jeff Wiley said at the banquet.
In 2003 and for the next seven years, Daigle was assigned as the school resource officer at East Ascension High School.
Daigle was promoted in 2012 to the rank of detective, working juvenile crimes, and the next year he was promoted to staff sergeant in charge of the APSO’s new School Security Program. He was assigned the task of reorganizing the School Resource Officer program, focusing on enhanced security measures and increased presence, protection and visibility in all parish primary, middle and high schools, Wiley said.
After the successful implementation of the program during the 2013-2014 school year, Daigle was promoted to lieutenant in charge of the 22-member team that provides security for the school system. By the end of the 2013-2014 school year, Bacala said, the newly enhanced school security program had logged more than 5,300 walkthroughs of area schools, conducted eight lock-down drills and conducted more than 140 security audits.
Gonzales Police Chief Sherman Jackson presented Ussery with the Police Officer of the Year award for his work with the Gonzales department.
Ussery started with the department in 1998 as a patrolman.
“Officer Ussery had special interest in traffic enforcement safety,” Jackson said. “He realized that proactive traffic enforcement makes our roads safer, reduces crime and improves our quality of life.”
In 2004, Ussery joined the new motors division.
In the past four years, Ussery has issued more than 2,200 citations and has responded to more than 1,635 traffic crashes, Jackson said.
“His traffic enforcement is an effective tool that we use to reduce criminal activity and a visible deterrent,” Jackson said.
Handy, an Ascension Parish resident, attended Southern University and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
He was nominated for the Trooper of the Year Award because of his commitment to public service, a nomination letter said.
During his seven-plus years of service, Handy has been assigned to Troop A, where he has worked in Ascension Parish. He has dedicated time to go to local schools throughout Ascension Parish to read and share stories with students, the nomination said. He also has donated his time to provide security for the Southern University football team.