Accreditation is the certification by an independent reviewing authority that an agency has met specific requirements and prescribed standards. An accreditation program is recognized as a means of maintaining the highest standards of professionalism. While accreditation programs in the fields of medicine and education have been available for some time, accreditation in the profession of law enforcement is relatively new. CALEA was formed in 1979 when 4 organizations, the National Sheriff’s Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and Police Education Research Foundation joined together to create an accreditation program to certify that law enforcement agencies meet professional standards of excellence in delivering public safety services. The Commission establishes standards that represent the best practices in law enforcement in the country today. The standards, which cover an agency’s functional capacity, professionalism, personnel, operations, and logistics, are constantly reviewed, modified, and enhanced as the field of law enforcement develops.
The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office has proven that it meets or exceeds CALEA standards. The Office achieved accreditation in within the first four years of the process, a rare accomplishment nationally and something that is unprecedented in the state. The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office is now among four sheriff’s offices in Louisiana that currently hold CALEA accredited status.
On July 28, 2018, the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office received its first CALEA reaccreditation award. The CALEA award is for four years, and the agency is required to maintain continuous compliance throughout the award year.
Captain Stephanie Duhon
Captain Stephanie Duhon is a Hanson Memorial High School alum who began her career in law enforcement in 1996 following graduation. Duhon’s first assignments included dispatching, switchboard operator, and records clerk. She attained her Associate of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Nicholls State University in 2003. Two years later, Duhon accepted a position with US Customs where she served as a Customs and Border Protection Officer until returning to work for the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office in 2007. Duhon then became a Detective in the Juvenile Division and was later promoted to Detective Lieutenant. In 2015, she received the promotion to Captain and now serves as the Accreditation Manager for the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office.
JUVENILE SERVICES SECTION
Detective Buddy Rogers speaking to the 2015 class of D.A.R.E. graduates at Bayou Vista Elementary School.
The Juvenile Division is primarily responsible for overseeing investigations involving juveniles, whether victim or offender. The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office recognizes the importance of early detection and prevention of crime in juvenile aged offenders and is committed to developing and supporting programs to prevent and control juvenile delinquency. The Juvenile Division Commander directs all School Resource Officers assigned to St. Mary Parish Schools. School Resource Officers work as liaisons between the St. Mary Parish School Board and St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office with the goal of helping juveniles become law abiding productive citizens. The Juvenile Division also includes a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Officer trained to teach D.A.R.E. curriculum in schools across the parish. In addition to these responsibilities, the Juvenile Division also oversees courtroom security assigning bailiffs to the St. Mary Parish Courthouse in Franklin.
The Warrants Division is assigned to clear warrants by bringing subjects named in the warrants into compliance with the court. This is often done by arrest. A warrant is not cleared until an individual has been served with the warrant and given a bond hearing or fines are paid. If you have an active warrant you may contact the Warrants Division at 337-907-0407 or 337-907-0408 to make arrangements to turn yourself in. The most common warrants served by the division are warrants obtained by law enforcement as the result of criminal investigations and contempt of court warrants for failure to appear in court. If you have any information on any person who is currently wanted on a warrant, please contact the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office Warrants Division at 337-907-0407 or 337-907-0408. If you know the location of a subject who is wanted on a criminal charge, do not attempt to apprehend the person yourself. Call the Sheriff's Office or your local law enforcement agency and report the person's identity and location. Do not jeopardize your safety or the safety of others by attempting to apprehend the subject.
In the aftermath of a crime, victim services can substantially impact a person's recovery both physically and mentally. The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office brochure serves as a guide for victims providing information about our program as well as information on other service agencies.
SMPSO Victims Services.pdf
Crime Victims Reparation.pdf
Elderly Victims of Crime.pdf
Below is the link to the Louisiana Automated Victim Notification System.
SPECIAL RESPONSE TEAM
The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team is equipped and trained to act under high risk or special conditions. The SRT is comprised of members from various divisions of the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office who undergo highly specialized training to meet law enforcement needs in extraordinary circumstances and extreme situations. This unit is deployed proactively to prevent crisis situations from developing as well as in response to a crisis. The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office SRT operates throughout the parish and works with municipal law enforcement agencies that may at times be in need of these specialized services.
In September 2013, St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office certified divers recovered several thousands of dollars in stolen property from the murky waters of a canal and also assisted a local police agency by recovering a vehicle submerged in a retention pond.
Located in south Louisiana and situated in the Atchafalaya River Basin, nearly half of St. Mary Parish is covered in water. Instituted by Sheriff Mark Hebert in 2013, the Dive Team is a skilled response unit assigned to incidents of water recovery and rescue. Dive related equipment was purchased with funding through the Port Security Grant Program. All members of the dive team are SCUBA certified.
The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office Motor Pool maintains a fleet of approximately 200 vehicles that are assigned to various divisions within the agency. With an on staff mechanic, vehicles and related equipment are kept in good mechanical condition ready for service at all times.