At mid-morning Sunday, July 17, at least one person and (likely more), dressed entirely in black, armed with a rifle and walking South on Airline Highway in Baton Rouge, opened fire on responding East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office deputies and Baton Rouge Police Officers killing several and wounding more.
As the law enforcement community reels from Dallas last week and now our fallen brothers in Baton Rouge, I call on all who are reading this to pray...Pray for the families of the deceased officers and those officers who are being medically treated and can we pray that we can once again be a nation that values life, that understands that law enforcement is the critical thin line of our domestic defense and security of the American people and that we all need each other.
To those who have for several years now "Whipped up" a frenzy of anti-police rhetoric and repeatedly described the law enforcement and general public relationship as "corrosive" and disrespectful... I say this to you... get to know these usually young men and women, look into their eyes and into their hearts before you pre-judge. They are splendid peace keepers, brave in response and humble in their service to others. They are NOT killers, NOT racist, and NOT haters, just simply put they are sons, daughters, wives, mothers, and fathers, who answer to a higher calling, that of being a professional law enforcement officer.
Those that spew this hate of law enforcement and promote this regrettable divisiveness need to stand down and reflect on the environment you have helped create.
As to our parish, your APSO is at the ready and we are preparing for any and all potential threats in clear and specific ways. I've activated the APSO Swat Team and as I write this they are embedded with Baton Rouge Police in and around Baton Rouge Police Headquarters.
You are safe and well protected.
God Bless those who serve others and God Bless us all.
-Sheriff Jeff Wiley