THE THIN BLUE LINE
DATELINE: ST. CHARLES PARISH, La. — Several witnesses said that Sheriff’s Deputy Henry Sill left two children in his truck last Thursday when he went in to pick up another child at WEE Center day care at First Baptist Church of Luling on Paul Maillard Road.
The witnesses said one of the children fired Sill’s weapon out the driver’s side window and into a day care administrator’s parked car. No one was hurt in the incident, but members of the community are wondering why Sill, who was off-duty when he left his loaded personal weapon unlocked in his truck with two young children, has not been disciplined by the Sheriff’s Office.
“There’s no policy violation and there’s really no law that was violated here,” Chief Deputy Rodney Madere Jr. said in an interview this week. “I mean, we’ve looked at some to see, but to try to stretch something to fit is not really what we do as law enforcement.”
“He left his truck running and he got out of his truck and started walking to the door and he heard a pop,” Madere said. “He turned around. His two children were bailing out the car and the 9-year-old was saying, ‘I didn’t mean to do it.’”
Madere said the deputy whose gun was fired is remaining on full duty pending the investigation. Meanwhile, First Baptist Church and the WEE Center are taking action against Sill. They sent a letter to parents today saying they have decided the deputy “will no longer be allowed on the premises, except to meet with the pastor or to attend church functions.” The letter says, “No firearms are allowed on the premises. The only exception is for on-duty police officers or those officers who are going to or coming from active duty. Even for officers, the individuals must be in uniform or wearing their police badge, and their firearms must be properly secured.”
The WEE Center posts a sign clearly on the door to the Education Center that says “WEE are a firearm, smoke and drug-free center.”