National Heroes Day at BC Intermediate School
Bridge City Intermediate School was the scene of a show of support for local law enforcement officers Wednesday.
The parking lot was filled with patrol boats and cars, plus officers from several levels of law enforcement, starting with the BCISD Police Department.
The BCISD Police Department started in 2000 with George Navarro. In 2006 Mike Bean joined him. The two men are based at the high school but go to all campuses if needed.
Navarro and Bean try to keep the schools safe for students and teachers.
As part of their presentation, Navarro and Bean presented each student with a stick-on replica of the BCISD badge.
Officer Danny Valdez from the Beaumont Police Department had his partner, Cabiel, a Belgian Malinous. The Beaumont department imported Cabiel from Holland and he is trained to respond to commands in Dutch.
In July Cabiel will be 11 years old and the department will retire him.
“He is a dog that does double duty. Cabiel is trained to detect drugs and he will also do searches for other things as well. He has been a very good policeman and he will be missed when he retires,” said Valdez.
Deputy John Badeaux represented the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Brenda Turner of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Alumni assisted Badeaux.
“The Alumni is a system of volunteers that greatly assists the Sheriff’s Office. They help us with programs like today’s and also help with emergencies. They provide valuable manpower when we need to conduct searches and assist us in many ways.
We always need volunteers and will be grateful if more people would join us,” Badeaux said.
Turner and Badeaux made identification sheets for the students at BC Intermediate.
“These sheets have vital information about the student along with a picture and fingerprints. We give these sheets to the family and they can have the big section for their records. The two smaller sections can be divided. One can go to grandparents or some other family member or one can be placed in the student’s billfold, purse or backpack. If the student is missing, it is a great way to have information to give to the police,” Badeaux said.
Game Warden Mike Keeney brought at 20-foot-long airboat with a 498 horsepower motor.
“It was built for us in Orange and it can run over water or land. It has a Teflon bottom and can run across a blacktop road if the need arises,” Keeney said.
Keeney has been a game warden for 27 years and has spent most of his time in Orange County.
“The boat is used in places like the Bessie Heights marsh and other areas like that. We use it to check on fishermen and duck hunters. The boat is also used in searches and emergency conditions,” Keeney said.
Sgt. Lannie Claybar from the Orange Police Department brought his patrol car.
Claybar is the Special Enforcement Officer and spends most of his time working with various types of crimes in neighborhoods. He also does a lot of public relations work. He explained the different equipment he uses for his job as a police officer.
David Ellis, Ryan Patton and Matthew Strbjak, all Petty Officers with the United States Coast Guard Marine Safety Office in Port Arthur, displayed one of their patrol boats.
They explained that the area they cover goes from High Island on the west to Lake Charles on the east, and from Interstate 10 south to the end of the Sabine Jetties.
A large map hung on the side of the boat to give the students an idea of the size of the area the men covers.
“We are responsible for patrolling inland waterways for safety and environmental violations and also security around the ports, and occasionally escort military cargoes out of the Port of Beaumont,” said Ellis.
Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Phil Brady, stationed in Orange County, had the flashiest and loudest of the displays.
Brady allowed the students to sit in his patrol car and turn on the flashing lights, hit the siren and make a comment on the car’s loudspeaker.
“I’m just here to let the kids have a little hands-on experience and to visit with them a little,” Brady said.
Brady is one of 10 troopers stationed in Orange County.
The officers seemed to have as much fun as the students. Smiles could be seen on faces young and older.
BCISD provided food for all the law enforcement personnel. The hot links and drinks and other “goodies” were cooked and served by members of the school board.