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GROWTH AND EXPANSION
 OF THE CADDO PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE

 

            In 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.

            The shooting 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.

            Deputy George 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.

            Several years 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 (traffic officer).

            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.

            During World 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 danger. 

            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.

            Volunteers 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.

 
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Parish of Caddo 2004©