- Associated Press - Monday, May 30, 2016

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - Edwin “Bud” Paul had a nearly half-century law enforcement career, but his primary memories are of the people he helped, not the ones he arrested.

When he was a young Alexandria police officer, he responded to a call in which a baby girl nearly drowned in a bathtub. Paul arrived on the scene, and the baby was not breathing.

The mother “threw that baby in my arms. We just had talked about mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and I started doing that on that baby, and that baby started crying and spit up all over my face. That was the best feeling I ever had in my life,” Paul said Sunday while reminiscing about his career.

He was among several dozen people on hand at a reception for retired law enforcement officers at the Alexandria Public Safety Complex.

Alexandria Police Chief Loren Lampert, Pineville Police Chief Don Weatherford and Rapides Parish Sheriff William Earl Hilton were among those on hand to pay tribute to the retired officers from their three departments.

“The law enforcement community has kind of a family atmosphere to it,” Lampert said, and the reception provides a chance for them to get back together for fellowship.

“They set the foundation for what law enforcement is today. It’s just living proof that no matter what department you’re with, our lives intertwine, our careers intertwine . they all fight the common fight,” Weatherford said.

The retired officers helped “make our community what it is today, make it a better community. This just gives them an opportunity to visit and see old friends and share memories and talk about times gone by,” Hilton said.

“If you eavesdrop on some of these tables, I promise you’ll hear some of the funniest war stories you’ve ever heard,” Lampert said. “I don’t know how true they are. They’ve probably been embellished over the years, but they are certainly entertaining.”

Paul, who will turn 81 on Friday, retired as Alexandria’s assistant police chief in 1978 before working 17 years as chief juvenile probation officer for the 9th District Court. He then worked as a part-time court bailiff for the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office for about 12 years.

Some of Paul’s cases are still fresh on his mind, especially juvenile cases in which he was able to get some at-risk youths on the right track.

He remembers a judge was getting ready to send one girl to the Louisiana Training Institute, but Paul fought for her to be given another chance.

The girl, who had been a dropout, went back to school, “and a year later she sent me an invitation, she was graduating from Pineville High School,” Paul recalled.

Paul went to the graduation.

Jack Roszell worked for the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Department for 25 years as a correction officer in the jail in the courthouse and then for five years as a courtroom bailiff before retiring in 2011.

Even though he ran a tight ship in the jail, he said former prisoners often thank him when they see him around town.

“Every one of them comes up to me and shakes my hand and tells me how I helped them. I treated everybody as fair as I could. The main thing was, if you gave somebody your word, do what you said you were going to do,” Roszell said.

While he enjoyed his law enforcement career, he said the responsibilities of public safety can be consuming.

“My wife would say I was married to the sheriff’s department and just lived with her,” Roszell said.

___

Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, https://www.thetowntalk.com


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