Training center will honor slain officer

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JENNINGS, La. (AP) - The City Council has voted to rename the former National Guard armory in honor of the first Jennings police officer killed in the line of duty.

The American Press reported (http://bit.ly/1eOXZNb) the armory is now a training center for the Jennings Police Department. It will be renamed the Burton J. LeBlanc Training Facility.

“I felt very strongly that this was an appropriate action to honor Burt for the service and dedication he provided to this community,” Police Chief Todd D'Albor said. “Many officers will garner the training skills they need to keep safe and go home to their families.”

A dedication ceremony is planned for June 12 at 5 p.m.

The city recently obtained the armory from the National Guard at no cost to use as a training center, D'Albor said.

Since then, the Police Department has been renovating the building, he said.

D'Albor said dedicating the building to LeBlanc has been inspirational for those who knew him.

“It has been emotional for me because I knew Burt, along with the others who knew him and worked alongside him,” he said. “It is not enough to name the building after him, but it is an appropriate thing to do to honor an officer who gave his life to the community.”

LeBlanc, 30, was shot and killed in February 2000 while responding to a call for a medical emergency at a former police officer’s home. As LeBlanc and two other officers approached the residence, a gunman opened fire, fatally wounding LeBlanc and injuring two other officers.

Kenny Guidry, a retired Jennings police captain and a deputy state fire marshal and his wife, Christine, were later found dead inside the home.

Phil Karam, a former police sergeant and friend of the slain couple, was arrested at the scene. He died in prison in 2011 while serving three life terms for his conviction in the killings.

LeBlanc had been with the Jennings Police Department for seven years. He also worked for the Jefferson Davis Parish and Acadia Parish sheriffs’ offices.

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Information from: American Press, http://www.americanpress.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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