Bogalusa WPSO substation opens

Published 10:23 am Friday, September 20, 2013

State and parish dignitaries and notables from throughout the community crowded into the entry room of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Bogalusa substation Tuesday to celebrate the ribbon cutting and grand opening of the new space.

After prayers of thanksgiving, Chief Deputy Mike Haley said the WPSO was pleased to have the new and larger office space and delighted to have an increased presence on the eastern side of the parish.

State Sen. Ben Nevers said he was “excited about all the things going on in Washington Parish,” and that Sheriff Randy Seal has already improved law enforcement throughout the parish and expects the sheriff to continue on that course.

Nevers added that the refurbished space on the first floor of the Masonic Lodge building is “a great example of what can be done with very little funding available.”

Seal said he is honored to have this new office in Bogalusa.

“I’ve wanted to bring more of a presence to this side of the parish,” he said. “This will enhance, help and make us more visible on the eastern side.

“We want you to be able to sit on your porch and rock and swing like we used to. I thank you all for your support.”

The brief ceremony ended with the cutting of the ribbon, and then those in attendance were encouraged to tour the facility. Soon the maze-like hallways were filled with curious people checking out the various offices as well as interrogation, interview and prisoner holding rooms.

Willene Ellzey, president of local AARP Chapter 4032, was among the enthusiastic throng trying to find her way through the freshly painted labyrinth. She echoed the crowd in saying she was impressed with the new substation.

Ellzey met up with those from whom she’d been separated in the big new training room, which was laid out with a meal of hamburgers, cookies and chips for the public. By about 4:30 p.m., just a half hour into the two-hour event, the 60 seats were filling up and the line was long.

Deputy Chief Jeff Boehm, who was looking on, said the WPSO had planned to feed about 150 visitors. The next morning he estimated that was just about how many showed up.