September 05, 2019  |  02:31 pm

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office was recently awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through its Operation Stonegarden program. 

In Fiscal Year 2019, the Operation Stonegarden program provided $90 million to enhance cooperation and coordination among state, local, tribal, territorial and federal law enforcement agencies in a joint mission to secure the United States’ borders along routes of ingress from international borders to include travel corridors in states bordering Mexico and Canada, as well as states and territories with international water borders. 

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office has been awarded $175,000 to be used by law enforcement in St. Tammany Parish to fund overtime cost associated with apprehending individuals with an unlawful presence in the United States and to make specialized equipment purchases.

Because the parish is intersected by Interstate 10, Interstate 12 and Interstate 59, St. Tammany experiences an enormous amount of traffic travelling through the parish with travelers coming out of Texas and Mexico who are often traveling through to Florida and the east coast.

In 2017, Sheriff Randy Smith created the Highway Enforcement Unit to patrol the parish’s major roadways with a focus on drug trafficking, human trafficking and illegal immigrants along the I-12/I-59/I-10 corridor.

“I am pleased that through the hard work and effort of our deputies, our agency has received these grant funds, which will assist us in continuing our mission to keep all the people of St. Tammany Parish safe,” Sheriff Randy Smith said.