Beauregard Parish Jail Warden Freddie Doyle has had one incredible test of his abilities this past year.
Doyle became warden in April 2020 after being selected by then-Sheriff-elect Mark Herford. Within days of taking the position, Doyle found himself working to protect inmates from a historic pandemic, then evacuating the jail after Hurricane Laura while still in the middle of a pandemic, and then dealing with the fallout from an unprecedented winter storm.
Doyle said while the events were challenging, he pushed himself through each experience because he refused to let those around him down.
“I won’t lie, it was really tough. But I work with such an incredible group of officers here at the jail and they make my job easy. At one point just days after taking over as warden, I had to send an entire shift home because of an exposure, but we worked together and we pulled through. There’s no way I could do my job if it weren’t for them,” Doyle said.
Doyle is a homegrown talent. Born and raised in Beauregard Parish, he has the unique ability of knowing the community he serves like few others. Many of his co-workers, including Asst. Warden Luke Gaspard, are friends from high school, where they learned to work as a team during their football days. Now, serving as warden has brought Doyle an entirely new perspective in his hometown.
“Being warden has put me in an interesting place; I know many of the deputies that work here and I’m always happy and excited to see them come on board, but then I also recognize some of the faces that are brought in here. I see people I grew up with whose lives took a different turn than my own, and it motivates me to help them and offer opportunities because I want to see them succeed,” Doyle stated.
That newfound drive to see inmates succeed in life after prison has fueled Doyle to work with Sheriff Herford in bringing back programs to the jail that were suspended at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Those include Alcoholics Anonymous and Overcomers, programs aimed at helping individuals with addiction, but Doyle also wants to bring in GED programs to help inmates receive an education.
“This job can be really difficult at times, but it is also really rewarding. To have the opportunity to help someone who is experiencing a low point in their lives and give them a chance to turn things around is something that is important to me,” Doyle said.
Doyle began his career in law enforcement in March 2001 when he worked for the Allen Correctional Center. In November that same year, he made the move to BPSO where he worked in corrections until 2007.
He moved to the patrol division in 2007 and served on the S.W.A.T. Team from 2008 to 2018, working his way up to S.W.A.T. Commander. In 2019, he transferred to the 36th Judicial District Courthouse in DeRidder where he served as Supervisor of Courthouse Security and Bailiff for Judge Martha Ann O’Neal.
Doyle remains active on the Underwater Search and Recovery Team and the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association Task Force.
Of the many roles he has served within BPSO, Doyle said being named warden was probably one of the least he expected for himself, but has become one that he deeply cares about.
“I never really saw myself serving in an administrative position when I first began my career here at BPSO, but I am excited that Sheriff Herford selected me for this position. I could definitely see myself continuing my time here in this chair and retiring as warden,” Doyle stated.