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Informer: Deputies, Lake Charles police receive driver training

Last Modified: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 7:49 PM

By Andrew Perzo / American Press

Do you know the car accident figures for the Lake Charles Police Department and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office?

I very rarely hear of an accident involving a policeman or deputy. With the number of miles driven by most of them each day I feel this is outstanding.

Lake Charles police were involved in 41 accidents last year, and sheriff’s deputies were involved in 46, officials with both agencies said.

In only one accident involving the Police Department did someone suffer injuries, and one accident involving the Sheriff’s Office resulted in a death, officials said.

Deputy Randy Benoit, 41, died in January 2012 after his car was struck head on by another car, whose driver had reportedly fallen asleep.

“The administration of the Lake Charles Police Department realizes the importance of officer safety and training,” Lt. Ted Trunick wrote in an email. “They are very proactive, in that they attempt to train their officers for a situation, and not in response to one.”

He said officers attend a three-day police pursuit course once they’ve finished their academy training. He said Lake Charles police drive about a million miles a year.

The Sheriff’s Office was judged at fault in 33 percent, or 15, of the accidents its deputies were involved in, said agency spokeswoman Kim Myers.

“Our insurance carrier has affirmed that the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office has one of the most effective fleet safety programs in the state,” she wrote in an email.

“Deputies receive yearly mandatory training that includes driving techniques and defensive driving tactics.”

Serra: Two anchors on show preferable

Is it necessary to have two newscasters on KPLC-TV’s “Sunrise” show?

No, “but it is preferable,” said Jim Serra, vice president and general manager of KPLC-TV.

He said both anchors — John Bridges and Britney Glaser — help write, edit and produce the program, which next month will add a half hour, starting at 4:30 a.m. rather than the current 5 a.m.

“KPLC feels blessed to have two seasoned local journalists anchoring our morning newscast,” Serra wrote in an email. “Based on the program’s extremely high ratings, our viewers seem to agree.”


Buses, officers bound by school zone rules

Are school buses and law enforcement vehicles required to go the speed limit through school zones at posted times, as well as private vehicles?


Bus drivers who flout the law can be reported to the Calcasieu Parish school system’s transportation department, 217-4330.

Law enforcement officers who speed through school zones can be reported to the heads of their agencies.

In both cases, make note of the vehicle identification numbers before calling.

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The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email

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