Beauregard detective’s mission to bridge gap between law enforcement and young people

Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 10:39 PM CST
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Beauregard Parish, LA (KPLC) - In honor of Black History Month, 7News talked to Beauregard Detective Sylvester Denmond about his career in law enforcement and how he hopes to make a difference in the lives of young people.

When we are asked what we want to be when we are younger, some say an astronaut, a teacher or even a doctor. Some find their calling later in life, and that’s the case for Detective Sylvester Denmond.

He has nearly 30 years in law enforcement.

“I think God put me in this position for a reason,” Denmond said.

Its a career that almost wasn’t.

“I did go off to school for a little while,” Denmond said,

Like many in Southwest Louisiana, Denmond focused on becoming an instrumental technician, but realized it wasn’t for him.

“I later returned back home and found myself still interested in in the law enforcement field,” Denmond said. “So, about 1996 I hired on with the Leesville Police Department.”

He served the Leesville Police Department and Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office for more than two decades. He’s worked as a canine handler, a swat team commander and with the narcotics division.

“I’ve worked and most of the parishes within the state of Louisiana,” Denmond said. “I’ve also worked as far as east Texas, The experience is just unlimited. You know, it’s just hard to really get into the details of the specific experiences and training, but I’ve had the opportunity to get a lot.”

Now, Denmond is back in his hometown, working beside Beauregard Sheriff Mark Herford the last three years as chief of detectives. As head of the criminal division, we asked what a typical day looks like.

“There is no typical day,” Denmond said. “Every day is different, and that’s one thing that I like about the job is that your day is not a set day.”

Every detective has that one case that changed their career. For Denmond, it’s the homicide of James Stephens in 2014. Four people were sentenced in connection to his death.

“And that would be the one probably right off the top of my head, but I’ve worked so over the over the years,” Denmond said.

But he said it’s not about the big achievements for law enforcement officers, it’s the small victories - the impact they have in the community.

Denmond said there were officers who influenced him throughout the years, and it’s his mission to do the same.

“There’s a gap between law enforcement and the youth today. I don’t know the answers. But I planned on trying to seek out those answers as the years to come,” he said.

His favorite role is “dad” to Tyreese, another reason he aims to strengthen the relationship between young people and those who wear a badge.

And he hopes to continue for as long as he can.

“To finish my career, I’ve seen a difference. So, if we can make a difference in in the past three years, what can we do in the next 10 or 11 years? I like to be a part of that,” Denmond said.

With no plans to retire anytime soon, he hopes to serve as a role model for Tyreese and other young men.

Denmond is the first African American president of the Louisiana Narcotics Association, the first to hold a position of his status at the Beauregard Sheriff’s Office, as well as one of the first African Americans to work as a K-9 handler at the Leesville Police Department.