OF THE CADDO PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE
late 1939 Sheriff Hughes announced he would not seek
another term as sheriff. J. Howell Flournoy, son of
Sheriff James Patteson Flournoy, Hughes’ predecessor,
succeeded him. Flournoy, who would serve longer than any
other Caddo Parish Sheriff before or since, began his 26
years in office on June 1, 1940.
Under Howell Flournoy, the Caddo Parish
Sheriff's Office came to be one of the most highly
regarded in the nation. His Office was ranked among the
best by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was
often commended by J. Edgar Hoover himself.
Many of the skills Sheriff Flournoy had
learned in the Army were applied by him to his office.
His deputies were extensively trained in the handling of
all deadly weapons. Under Sheriff Flournoy the first
training in the diffusing of bombs was given to
specialists within the Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Flournoy was a proponent of
preventative law enforcement and frequently lectured to
students about the importance of education and the
perils of delinquency. He also opened the Sheriff's
Office's and the parish jails to public inspection
tours, becoming the first sheriff to do this. Sheriff Flournoy's focus on young people stemmed from his
personal philosophy that good citizens were made, not
born. His theories regarding these efforts were
published in a widely distributed booklet entitled
Winning Our Youth, which saw national distribution
in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Under Sheriff Flournoy's administration
the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office was expanded to an
unprecedented level. In addition to its regular force
of nearly 150 highly trained deputies, by his tenth year
in office Sheriff Flournoy had over 500 volunteer and
auxiliary deputies available for emergencies. They were
thoroughly trained in first aid, firearms handling, gas,
and gas guns.
The Identification Bureau was
established in late 1940s shortly after Flournoy took
office. The Identification Bureau began the
fingerprinting of all prisoners brought to the jail,
keeping records of the prints on file using the same
classification system then employed by the FBI.
It was also during this era that the
second deputy to fall in the line of duty was fatally
wounded in the north Caddo Parish town of Belcher. Will
W. George, a deputy sheriff since 1926, was shot in the
stomach by Edward T. Krow.
occurred on May 21, 1945, as Deputies George, W.H.
Anderson and Cal Baines were arresting a suspect for
selling a stolen automobile. Krow, a night watchman for
several merchants, began verbally castigating the
suspect, accusing him of passing a bad check, in
addition to car theft.
told Krow, who appeared intoxicated and was waving his
pistol, that the suspect was in custody and that
everything was under control. George then instructed
Krow to put his pistol away. Krow grew angrier, telling
the deputies to leave Belcher and threatening to kill
them if they did not. Almost instantly, Krow raised his
gun and fired on George, striking him in the stomach.
As Deputy Anderson attempted to retrieve
his gun from the car, Krow began firing at him as well,
striking Anderson four times. Anderson survived but
George died three days later. Deputy Baines finally
succeeded in subduing Krow.
Just weeks prior to his own untimely
death, Deputy George was instrumental in the arrest of
Los Angeles fugitive Joseph Vernon Arenson, a confessed
mutilation killer who had eluded authorities across the
nation. George caught Arenson in Oil City and he was
detained in the Caddo Parish Jail in Shreveport before
being extradited to California.
By the 1950s the Sheriff's Office Patrol
Unit consisted of six marked and unmarked cars manned by
11 deputies who maintained a 24-hour patrol of the
parish. All were equipped with two-way radios, riot
shotguns, rifles, first aid materials, and various types
of lights, rope, and other emergency equipment. Sheriff
Flournoy also appointed a dozen resident deputies to
cover the portions of the parish in which they resided.
Resident deputies were located in Oil City, Vivian, Ida,
Keithville, Mooringsport, Belcher, Greenwood, Rodessa,
Bethany, Springridge, and Blanchard.
In May, 1956, the Juvenile Division of
the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office was established. The
first head of this division was Captain George Wendell D'Artois, later to become widely known as Shreveport's
Commissioner of Public Safety. Until the original
Juvenile Home (as the holding facility for juvenile
offenders annexed to the Juvenile Court was first known)
was completed in 1960, juvenile offenders were detained
in the parish jail. That same year, D’Artois represented
the International Juvenile Officers Association at the
White House Conference on Children and Youth.
later, while serving as Commissioner of Public Safety,
D’Artois was arrested by Caddo sheriff’s deputies on a
first-degree murder warrant from East Baton Rouge Parish
for the hired killing of ad executive Jim Leslie. His
arrest followed an eight-hour standoff with deputies at
D’Artois’ Spring Lake residence. D’Artois died before
going to trial.
Although in the 1940s and 1950s Caddo
Parish was a segregated community, Sheriff Flournoy was
the first Caddo Parish sheriff to appoint
African-American deputies to the force of the Sheriff's
Office. In that era the jail and juvenile division of
the Sheriff's Office segregated inmates not only by
gender, as is still done, but by race as well. By 1957
the first five black Caddo deputies were in uniform and
serving in equal capacities to their white
counterparts. These first black deputies were:
Lieutenant A. W. "Jack" Walton, under whom were Buford
Norris (Civil and Criminal Department), Clinton Reeves
(Juvenile Division, Colored Section), Henry Bell
(Juvenile Division, school officer), and George Birdsong
Under Sheriff Flournoy the number of
jailers was expanded from two to eight, including one
female to supervise the women's facilities. All the
jailers were required to be graduates of the Federal
Bureau of Prisons' jailer's course.
War II the Sheriff's Office was responsible for the
parish's civil defense system. Louisiana at this time
was considered a prime potential target for enemy
attack. Of the handful of parishes that ultimately put a
civil defense program into place, Caddo's was
consistently recognized by the U. S. and state
governments alike as being among the state's very best.
Civil defense work included scanning the skies for enemy
aircraft 24 hours a day. Were enemy planes to be
detected, air raid sirens were to be sounded
parish-wide, alerting the public of the approaching
After the war's end the civil defense
program was continued in peacetime by the Caddo
Sheriff's Office as the Internal Security Organization
and in-service training program for auxiliary deputies.
By 1960 it had grown to include almost 1,500 members,
three times the size it had been 10 years before. The
auxiliaries were also trained in defense against atomic,
biological, and chemical warfare as understood at the
time, mass disorder, riot and panic control. Several
auxiliary deputies additionally were selected to receive
special training in crime detection and in the detection
and prevention of sabotage and espionage.
By the mid-1950s the Caddo Parish
Sheriff's Office had acquired high-tech emergency and
rescue equipment which included two airplanes, a rescue
truck, a trailer containing a five kilowatt electrical
generator, two motorboats, diving equipment, and a wide
variety of rescue equipment. And in 1956, a special Aero
Squadron with volunteer pilots and planes was formed.
also formed an amateur radio operators squadron. The
department also set up a short wave radio station during
the Flournoy era. The station was initially equipped
with a 250-watt transmitter for contacting other
stations or department automobiles and other vehicles
within a several hundred-mile radius. Previously, radio
communication had been limited to very finite areas of
operation and transmissions were poor and easily drowned
out. Furthermore, radio communication of any
sort had been available for only a few short years at
the time the Sheriff's Office's station was established.
By 1958, the fleet of automobiles used
by the Sheriff’s Office had increased to 25 - more than
twice the number owned by the office a third of a
century before when cars first began to be widely
utilized by the Sheriff.
One vestige of previous sheriffs
maintained by Sheriff Flournoy during his days of
expanding and modernizing the Caddo Parish Sheriff's
Office was the Mounted Patrol. He also retained the
Sheriff's Office's stock officer, a post which consisted
of investigating livestock thefts, impounding and
disposing of livestock that had been seized, and keeping
the parish roads free of roaming animals.
A new role undertaken by the department
was that of school crossing security. Originally, all
crossing guards were women and there was only one
exception to this early rule by the late 1950s.
On December 14, 1966, Sheriff Flournoy
died at Schumpert Hospital in Shreveport following a
heart attack. According to state law, the Parish
Coroner, Dr. Stuart DeLee, was sworn in to fill the
post of sheriff until an appointment by the governor
could be made. Tax collecting duties fell to the state
legislative auditor, J. B. Lancaster. DeLee and
Lancaster only filled the void left by Flournoy's death
for eight days before Governor McKeithen fulfilled
Sheriff Flournoy's wish that Chief Deputy James Goslin
become his successor. On December 22, 1966, Goslin was
appointed Sheriff of Caddo Parish.
Among significant innovations during the Goslin administration were the implementation of a
central purchasing system, revised book-keeping
procedures, the upgrading of the criminal records
system, and the complete revision of the office
insurance program to give better coverage at lower
cost. Additionally, Goslin set up a toll free incoming
telephone line for public use and a new substation at
Vivian to better serve the residents of the northern
part of the parish.
Additionally, the Sheriff's Office set
up its own training academy at this time, providing
classrooms for the training of personnel and an indoor
shooting range. He increased public education with
classes on narcotics and other drugs and their abuse,
self-defense training for women, water safety, and
student traffic and pedestrian safety programs.
The unfortunate loss of the third deputy
killed in the line of duty also occurred while Sheriff Goslin was in office. On May 26, 1968, Deputy Frank M.
Normand was killed instantly when his patrol car
collided with a freight train at the crossing at
Flournoy-Lucas and Woolworth roads. According to State
Police reports, Normand's patrol car struck the train,
which had already crossed the poorly lit and unmarked
intersection. He was on his way to pick up his partner,
Mark Williams, when the wreck occurred.
One of the important milestones of
Sheriff Goslin's administration was the establishment of
a new parish jail, known as the Caddo Correctional
Institute, which opened in south Caddo Parish at
Springridge in 1971. The facility, which would serve
the parish for the next 25 years, replaced the old
facility on West 70th Street, which had been in
operation for 65 years. The jail was operated by the
parish Police Jury and employed correctional officers,
many of whom later became Caddo deputies.
Harold Monroe Terry, a longtime Caddo
Parish sheriff’s deputy who also served as Goslin’s
chief deputy, succeeded Sheriff Goslin in office. Anyone
who knew Harold Terry as sheriff will attest that guns
were his great passion. As a deputy under Sheriff
Flournoy, Terry ran the Junior Rifle Program, which was
set up by Flournoy to teach young people marksmanship.
He also served as Firearms Training Officer and was in
charge of the Sheriff's Office pistol team
Sheriff Terry's tenure as sheriff was
marked by tight budget constraints and the unintended
reorganization of the Sheriff's Office's personnel when
almost half of the 150 deputies left, either through
retirement or resignation. Much of the blame for the
exits can be given to the financial crunch experienced
by the office at that time and to the cutbacks it
necessitated and the increased stresses it
precipitated. Those cutbacks included the downsizing of
the narcotics and criminal intelligence sections.
One of his first acts among taking
office was to implement a bid system for department
purchases. Sheriff Terry was among the first parish
sheriffs in Louisiana to voluntarily follow the same
public bid procedures required by law of all other
government offices but from which the Sheriff's Offices
of the state were then exempted. Sheriff Terry helped
lead the way to closing the bid exemption loophole to
avoid any future potential for mishandling and to ensure
that Sheriff's Offices state-wide would be held to the
same levels of accountability as other offices involving
the public's trust.