Seven Lafayette law enforcement agents were recognized this week for acts of kindness and public service that extended beyond the call of duty.

Beyond the Badge, a Baton Rouge-based charitable organization, hosted its third annual Heart of Law Enforcement Award banquet Tuesday, recognizing 17 law enforcement members nominated across the state for their compassion and devotion to public service.

Beyond the Badge was founded in 2016 by Linda Hull and is a non-profit funded by corporate and private donations. The group accepts nominations from law enforcement agencies and the public and encourages communities to notice the “ordinary law enforcement officers performing extraordinary acts of kindness in their communities,” the organization said in a release.

“At a time when there is so much negative attention toward law enforcement in general, I thought someone needed to honor all the officers who go beyond the call of duty. We need to let the public know about their acts of kindness and generosity,” Hull said in the release.

Six Lafayette Police Department officers and a deputy with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office were among the 17 honorees.

Lafayette Police Department Cpl. Heather Martin was one of two recipients of the “Service Before Self” award, given to officers “whose acts of kindness stand out in the field of nominees,” the release said.

Martin was honored for assisting a 91-year-old veteran. After performing a wellness check in March 2018, Martin discovered the elderly veteran lacked access to nutritious meals, lived in poor conditions and wasn’t receiving benefits.

Martin connected the man with the Office of Veterans Affairs, coordinated Meals on Wheels deliveries to his home and raised funds to have his plumbing repaired. On her time off, she also cleaned and repaired the man’s home and restored a recliner for him.

Martin was one of three female law enforcement officers honored at the banquet.

Five other officers with the Lafayette Police Department — Cpl. Chad Landreneau, Sgt. David Leblanc, Officer Cody Richard, Cpl. Ryan Shanahan and Officer Salvatore Angilletta — were honored for their service.

Landreneau and Leblanc were honored for assisting an elderly woman who was evicted from her home, while Richard and Shanahan were recognized for helping a mentally handicapped man who was lost after getting off at the wrong bus stop while traveling cross-country.

Angilletta, who previously worked for the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Deputy Kasey Boudreaux were honored for their work assisting a homeless family living in the abandoned Cypress Tree Inn on Southeast Evangeline Thruway. They helped the family secure temporary lodging and transportation to Lake Charles.

Editor's note: Seventeen law enforcement officers, not 19, were recognized at the 2019 Beyond the Badge awards. The Acadiana Advocate regrets the error. 

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