Former Jennings Police Officer takes permanent watch over city - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Former Jennings Police Officer takes permanent watch over city

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(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC) (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC) (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC) (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC) (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
JENNINGS, LA (KPLC) -

In February 2000, gunfire took the lives of former Jennings Police Captain Kenneth Guidry, his wife Christine, and Officer Burton LeBlanc.

They died at Guidry's house, shot by fellow Officer Phillip Karam, who later died in prison serving a life sentence.

Thursday, a dedication ceremony was held to honor LeBlanc, who now has a permanent watch over the City of Jennings.

On Thursday, officials in the City of Jennings unveiled a sign.

It's a sign that dedicates the former National Guard Armory to former Jennings Police Officer Burton LeBlanc who died in the line of duty 14 years ago.

"It's an absolute honor of mine, getting with the mayor and city council, to afford us the honor of honoring one of our own, Burt LeBlanc," said Jennings Police Chief Todd D'Albor.

Those in attendance described Burt as a father, son, husband, friend, and much more.

City of Jennings Mayor Terry Duhon added, "I'd just like to say personally I knew Burt, and I thought Burt was a great guy and I know everyone misses him."

For family members, the dedication is an honor.

"Burt lives on in each of you that selflessly work to protect your community just as he did. It is our hope that Burt's loss will never be forgotten, that his sacrifice will never be in vain, because we know that he watches over all of the men and women in our law enforcement community," said LeBlanc family member Hollie Miller.

Coty Courville, a friend says, "I feel I have a guardian angel watching over me every night."

For Courville, February 5, 2000 is a night he'll never forget.

"As I pulled up and got out of the unit is whenever the shots were fired," explained Courville.

Courville, a friend and responding fire official the night LeBlanc was killed, says though it still haunts him, it's a way to remember Burt.

"It's taken a lot out of me but it also pushed me to better myself to better provide for others," said Courville.

For Jeff Davis Parish District Attorney Mike Cassidy, who presided over the case, emotions still run high.

"I still want to commend the sheriff's office, the city police, for the way they handled themselves that night, because it was emotional, still is. Everyone wanted street justice, but they rose above that because that's what Burt would have done," said Cassidy.

While LeBlanc may be gone, he'll certainly not be forgotten, as his memory will now live through the facility.

The newly named building, which was just recently finished, will now be used as a training facility for the Jennings Police Department.

"Thank you for allowing Burt to forever protect and serve the law enforcement community. He would be honored and proud," said Miller.

Thursday's event also included a Peace Officers Memorial where fallen officers from law enforcement to first responders were remembered and honored through poems, candle lighting, song and prayer.

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