Crimestoppers GNO recognized a host of local heroes at its 32nd annual “Awards Luncheon” for their efforts in helping solve and prevent crimes in the parishes of Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Placquemines and Washington.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand served as emcee and bestowed the Sheriff Harry Lee Criminal Justice Award. The James J. Coleman Senior Corporate Partner Award was presented to Vinson Guard President Christine Vinson. The George Loker Community Service Award was given to: Representative Helena Moreno, Senator J.P. Morrell, Executive Director of the New Orleans Family Justice Center Mary Claire Landry, Public Policy Chair of United Way of Southeast Louisiana Kim Sport and Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer United Way of Southeast Louisiana Charmaine Caccioppi.
Members of law enforcement who lost their lives in the line of duty were also recognized with the Fallen Hero Award, including NOPD Officer Natasha Hunter, NOPD Officer Jude Williams Lewis, Jefferson Parish Deputy David Michel Jr. and Westwego Police Officer Michael Louviere.
Keynote speakers were Gregory Rusovich and NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison. Rusovich addressed how private businesses assist with public safety and law enforcement and the importance of Crimestoppers to public safety and changes in strategies in criminal justice. Harrison discussed the new Gun Crime Unit and presented the Crimestoppers NOPD Award of Excellence to its TIGER (Tactical Intelligence Gathering and Enforcement Response) Unit for solving multiple armed robberies in Orleans Parish.
Crimestoppers President and CEO Darlene Cusanza introduced members of the new interdenominational “Project Good Samaritan” program and unveiled a new marketing campaign to engage other faith-based groups to inform their congregations of Crimestoppers programs. The inaugural members include: Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Pastor Antoine Barriere, Pastor Tyrone Jefferson, Pastor Debra Morton, Pastor Preston Jones, Bishop Wiley Taylor, Pastor Fred Luter, Rafeeg H. Nu’Man, Reverend Karli Pidgeon, Reverend Kathy Radke, Pastor Robert Storey, Dr. Charles Southall III, Bishop Willy Gable, Father Bill Terry, Bishop Lester Love and Elder Otis Wafer.
EVENT AT A GLANCE
What: 32nd annual “Awards Luncheon” benefiting Crimestoppers GNO
When: Thursday, March 16
Where: Hyatt Regency New Orleans