Quality of Life Officer brings message to senior citizensApr 8th, 2011 | By admin | Category: Community
Veteran St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Kenney is looking for problems he can solve for the public.
Kenney, recently appointed by Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann as Quality of Life Officer for the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office, told a meeting of the AARP Pakenham Chapter 3926 that his new post covers a wide range of services.
His dealings include: parish code enforcement problems, abandoned property where people are illegally gathering, abandoned vehicles, repeated disturbances such as loud music, loitering or empty swimming pools.
A hotline number of 504.278.7799 has been established to reach Kenney. He can also be called through the sheriff’s Crime Prevention number of 504.278.7528.
It’s about eliminating blight that leads to crime or lowers the quality of life in the parish, Kenney told a meeting of about 55 members of AARP group at the parish Senior Center in Chalmette.
“Call me if you see people hanging around, maybe doing drugs,’’ Kenney said. “Abandoned swimming pools must be enclosed or it’s a safety hazard. If someone is blaring music, call me.’’
Abandoned vehicles or even ones with flat tires in driveways can be dealt with, he said. Other problem areas, Kenney said, can include illegally operating boarding houses, or acts of vandalism and graffiti.
Sandra Reuther, President of the AARP chapter, and several members asked questions of the officer, such as whether there is a length of time groups can stand on a public corner before it becomes loitering?
Kenney said it involves what people are doing when they gather, saying deputies can look into anything that could be suspicious activity. “Always call the Sheriff’s Office (general number of 271.2501) if you see anything suspicious.’’
One person said she didn’t want to bother the Sheriff’s Office over nothing, but Kenney assured her no officer would be upset if a call didn’t pan out because residents’ concerns are a top priority and investigating a complaint could lead to stopping crime in progress.
Another person praised the Sheriff’s Office in her dealings with the department, saying a security alarm went off in her home once and deputies were there to investigate before she even received a call about it from her alarm company.
Pohlmann has said Kenney will act as a bridge to parish government in certain matters because “problems of blight and other issues often become criminal violations.’’
He also said when he created Kenney’s position he wanted more street level intelligence for the Sheriff’s Office as Kenney interacts with people. Issues requiring long-term investigation by specialized units such as sheriff’s detectives or narcotics agents will be documented and forwarded to the appropriate division.