February 03, 2022  |  12:25 pm

For the second year in a row, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office (STPSO) was awarded a grant from the United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) to provide mental health and first – aid training to deputies.

The West and East St. Tammany Red Beans ‘N’ Rice volunteer committees, along with United Way of Southeast Louisiana – St. Tammany Leadership Council and Board of Trustees awarded the grant to the STPSO. The grant will assist with providing much needed mental health training for the Crisis Intervention Team and deputies responding to people suffering from mental health crises.

Through their grant proposal, UWSELA stated the organization “has a bold vision for eradicating poverty in SELA with a vision of equitable communities where all individuals are healthy, educated and economically stable.” In St. Tammany Parish, we are a vibrant community bound together by a powerful sense of belonging.

Since taking office, Sheriff Randy Smith and the STPSO have participated in the Red Beans ‘N” Rice Fundraiser, wining the Spirit Award in 2021, and a strong partnership has formed over the years. As a result of this partnership and grant, the first training is already scheduled for February 14th through February 18th. Twenty deputies will receive Crisis Intervention training during the course funded by UWSELA.

“I have always supported the United Way and will continue to do so through fundraisers such as the ‘Red Beans and Rice Cook-off,” Sheriff Smith said. “This organization does great things for the community and to award us this grant, for additional behavioral health training for our deputies, is going to help so many people. The STPSO is very appreciative to receive these funds from the UWSELA and it will pay huge dividends as we continue to combat mental health in our community with organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Coroner’s Office, and all the mental health providers throughout our great parish.”