Louisiana State Police held its annual awards ceremony on Friday, May 19 to honor troopers, public safety personnel, and civilians for going above and beyond the call of duty.
The ceremony was held Friday morning at the LSP Training Academy Auditorium on Independence Blvd. in Baton Rouge. Many examples of bravery, dedication, and exceptional work ethic were acknowledged during the ceremony.
Not only were troopers celebrated for their accomplishments, but civilians were as well. “Unlike law enforcement officers, who are sworn and commissioned to protect the public and respond to tragedies, these civilians have no oath to do that and for them to step forward out of a love for their fellow man is just truly extraordinary,” said Colonel Kevin Reeves, Interim Superintendent of LSP.
Take for instance John LaBruzzo and Jasen Eastwold, who during the early morning of August 12, 2016, left Metairie to save families in Central, but ended up being commissioned by LSP to single-handedly save hundreds stranded on I-12. “They saw our truck, well Jason's truck, and they asked if we could help them,” said LaBruzzo.
The military style truck, nicknamed "the big truck," has been part of the Eastwold family for seven years. Jasen says he had no idea its use would go beyond the regular joy rides. “I didn't realize what we were really getting into. It was gratifying to save these folks,” said Eastwold.
The friends say at times, the harsh rain prevented them from seeing the road. “The waters were so high they were actually coming over his deuce and a half truck,” recalled LaBruzzo.
But they pushed forward, making at least 30 trips in the big rig, which holds 50 people. “He had the vehicle, we both had the will and determination, so we were gonna' be there until the state trooper said that we'd gotten everybody that they needed us to get,” said LaBruzzo.
Also honored was Robert Guiloroy, who shares that compassion. It was after midnight on November 6, 2016, when he drove up to a car on fire on the interstate near Fenton. “I immediately slammed on my brakes and by my surprise, I pulled out an infant.”
Guiloroy went on to save four other kids and their mom. He sustained second-degree burns in the process. He says he wouldn't change a thing. “Do unto others as you'd have done unto you, and that's why I would want someone to do for me in that situation. Do everything they can, without hesitation,” said Guiloroy.
Awards presented are as follows:
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