A picture was posted on social media by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Department last week, and it went viral locally, for all the right reasons.
As the recent floodwaters were starting to recede and the donation drives got underway to help victims, another group of people quietly rolled up their sleeves and did a necessary job you couldn't pay the rest of us to do.
Trusties from the Sheriff's office retrieved caskets which the floods had unearthed and scattered about. Trusties, if you are unaware, are prisoners who are trusted to do certain supervised jobs, from picking up trash to maintaining the jails in which they serve their sentences.
But this job...none of them probably ever imagined they'd be called on to gather up the remains of other people.
The picture the CPSO posted was of Sheriff Tony Mancuso sharing a steak dinner with those trustees as his way of saying thanks for a job well done. It was appreciated by the trustees, and spoke volumes about his character as a leader.
These men earned the badge of "trusty," a designation which they must continue to earn until their sentence has concluded. We are reminded by Sheriff Mancuso's gesture that Southwest Louisiana believes in second chances. The same trust bestowed on these men while under sentence will hopefully be extended by our community at large after they begin to rebuild their lives in the future.
A simple steak dinner, shared by someone whose opinion matters. Our thanks go to Sheriff Tony Mancuso and the trusties who did a thankless job. Just another day in our better Southwest Louisiana.