Community Foundation of Acadiana (CFA) celebrated its inaugural Leaders in Law Enforcement Awards Luncheon on Thursday, Sept. 10, at City Club in River Ranch.

The 2020 honorees are the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Department and the 40th Judicial District Attorney’s Office of St. John the Baptist Parish.

The intent of this new award is to bolster morale, increase respect for public service, acknowledge improvements in operations and encourage extraordinary performance among Louisiana’s sheriff’s departments and district attorney’s offices.

Each department received a $25,000 award to be used at their discretion to improve operations and continue to encourage extraordinary performance and implement meaningful programs.

This year’s awards were underwritten by the Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation.

The Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Department was recognized for its Deputies Making a Change (DMAC) Program, initiated to address the incarceration and school dropout rate among vulnerable male youth in Ouachita Parish.

DMAC services male students ages 9-18 by offering support in academics, future planning, hygiene, money management, healthy lifestyle regimens, life skills, college and career readiness and problem solving.

DMAC addresses the need for strong mentors in a positive environment, educational support and improving behavior. Over the last 12 years, DMAC has directly impacted more than 5,000 students and has a 98 percent graduation success rate.

The 40th Judicial District Attorney’s Office of St. John the Baptist Parish was recognized for implementing impactful opportunities for those most at risk. Opportunity

Community Foundation of Acadiana is honored to present these law enforcement awards to such deserving programs. We are looking forward to making this an annual event. The 2021 application process will begin in March.

All sheriff’s departments and district attorney’s offices from around the state are invited and encouraged to apply.

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