Arthur S. Lawson, Jr. is presently Deputy Chief of Police, second in command of the City of Gretna Police Department. Born in New Orleans in 1954, he was employed by the City of Gretna Police Department on November 1, 1975; where he started as a patrolman, working his way through the ranks to his present position.
Deputy Chief Lawson served as an Assistant Watch Commander in the Patrol Division. Later was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, serving as Watch Commander in the Patrol Division until being transferred to form and head the Department's Community Relations Division. There he formulated the City of Gretna Neighborhood Watch Program, Student Assistance Program, as well as many other community-oriented programs. Deputy Chief Lawson next became Operations Officer, which was then, the second highest position within the Department. This position was later changed to Deputy Chief, where he continues to oversee the day-to-day operations of the Department.
Deputy Chief Lawson graduated from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office Basic Training Academy as well as many other law enforcement training courses. These included programs sponsored by the United States Department of Justice, Louisiana State University, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the University of Louisville's Southern Police Institute, and the University of North Florida's Institute of Police Technology and Management. On April 7, 1991, Deputy Chief Lawson was assigned to the FBI National Academy for three months where he graduated with a Criminal Justice Certificate Awarded by the University of Virginia.
The Deputy Chief was elected to and has served for fifteen years on the Executive Board of the Louisiana Association for Chiefs of Police. He was also elected to and served on the Louisiana Municipal Police Employees Retirement System for ten years, a state-wide board that manages over one billion dollars in police officer retirement funds. In addition to his official duties, the Deputy Chief also currently serves in many civic and business associations in the Gretna Community.
CAPTAIN CHARLES M. WHITMER -- Director of Training
Captain Whitmer was promoted to the rank of Captain of the Gretna Police Department on 5 January 1990 and now oversees the operation of the Training Academy as well as the day to day operation of the Patrol Division.
Born in Butler, Pennsylvania in 1955, Capt. Whitmer began his career in the Gretna Police Department on 1 May 1977. He completed the 1st Gretna Police Department Training Academy on 28 October 1978. In July 1979, Capt. Whitmer was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and served as Assistant Watch Commander in the Patrol Division, and on 1 August 1981 he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant performing duties of Watch Commander of a Patrol Team. On January of 1985 Capt. Whitmer was assigned the duties of Director of Training and assumed command of the Gretna Police Department Training Academy.
Capt. Whitmer graduated with honors from Delgado Community College in 1989 with an Associate of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice. In April of 1989 he was assigned to the F.B.I. National Academy for three months and graduated in June 1989 with a Criminal Justice Certificate awarded by the University of Virginia. In July 1992, Capt. Whitmer completed a Bachelor of Criminal Justice Degree at Loyola University. He is certified as a Firearms Instructor by the LA Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, and has attended many law enforcement related training courses during his career with the Gretna Police Department. As a member of the Chief's Staff, Capt. Whitmer continues to update his law enforcement training.
Lt. Church assumed the position of Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division in September 1997. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he began his career with the Gretna Police Department on April 15, 1976. Lt. Church graduated from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff s Office Training Academy in January 1977. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in July 1979 and served as Assistant Watch Commander in the Patrol Division. In August 1985, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and was assigned the duties of Watch Commander for the Patrol Division. In August 1986, Lt. Church was transferred to the Clerk of Courts office and assumed the duties of the Clerk of Court. He was transferred to the Criminal Investigations Division in September 1997, where he continues to oversee the day to day operation of this unit.
In June 1999, Lt. Church was assigned to the F.B.I. National Academy for three months and graduated in September 1999 with a Criminal Justice Certificate awarded by the University of Virginia. Lt. Church has attended Delgado Community College and Loyola University earning 72 hours towards a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice. He has been certified as a Firearms Instructor by the Louisiana Post Council, and he is a certifying official with the National Police Canine Association in the realm of Narcotics detection. Lt. Church has also served as an instructor at several national seminars on the deployment of narcotic detection dogs. Further, Lt. Church has attended numerous law enforcement related training courses during his tenure with the Gretna Police Department.
Lt. Cox started his law enforcement career on 10 July 1968 as a Deputy Sheriff with the Jefferson Parish Sheriffs Office and was assigned duties a Squad Leader (Supervisor) until 30 April 1978. On 1 May 1978 he was hired by the Gretna Police Dept. and promoted to the rank of Lt . (Watch Commander) in the Patrol Division. He served as Watch Commander until his re-assignment as Clerk of Court for the City of Gretna on 1 September 1997 and continues his duties as Clerk (Magistrates Court) to present.
Lt. Cox was born in Gretna, Louisiana in 1934. He served with the United States Navy during the Korean Conflict. After his military obligation was fulfilled he attended Southeastern Louisiana University from January 1957 through May 1958 studying accounting. After leaving Southeastern, he was a civilian employee for the Department of Defense and an Air Force Reserve member serving from January 1960 until June 1968, attaining the rank of Senior Master Sergeant (Personnel Superintendent) GS-9. Lt. Cox attended numerous police schools while a professional police officer such as FBI Instructor Development, Supervision of Police Personnel (Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.), Decision Making and Leadership Development to name a few. Lt. Cox was a post certified training instructor for the Gretna Police Department Training Academy from June 1979 thru August 1997.
Lieutenant Christiana became a member of the Gretna Police Department after graduating from the Gretna Police Department Training Academy Class #6 in September of 1982. He began his career assigned to the Patrol Division and in 1984 was transferred to the Criminal Investigation Division. Lt. Christiana was a general assignment detective, investigating crimes such as homicide, armed robbery, burglary, and drug law violations. In July of 1987, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant assuming duties as an Assistant Watch Commander for patrol units. Lt. Christiana was transferred to the Criminal Investigations Section in February 1988, and was instrumental in creating a Narcotics Section within the division.
In 1989, Lt. Chrisitana was assigned as the Commander of Criminal investigations and promoted to Lieutenant. He was placed in command of a Patrol Team in June 1992, and later moved to handle special projects in January 1996. These projects included formulation of a new Departmental Regulation book, overseeing the Community Oriented Policing program implemented throughout the Department and Grant Management. In 1997, Lt. Christiana assumed duties as the Commander of Operations. There he coordinated the installation and implementation of a new 800 MHz radio system for the Gretna Police Department; this system is shared by all law enforcement agencies in Jefferson Parish. He also coordinated the move towards the use of laptop computer technology within all Gretna Police Patrol units. Lt. Christiana currently oversees the Communications Division, Internal Affairs, and Special Projects.
Lt. Christiana is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute Administrative Officers Course, University of Louisville, Kentucky. He has been an instructor within the Gretna Police Academy since 1985, being named Outstanding Instructor four times by various academies. He instructs for various entities that include: the Louisiana Community Policing Institute, Louisiana State University Shreveport; Center for Society Law and Justice, University of New Orleans; and the Executive Protection Institute, Winchester, Virginia. Lt. Christiana has had the pleasure of serving on a peer review panel that evaluates law enforcement grants for the National Institute of Justice, Washington, D.C.
Lt. Christiana was selected by the U.S. Justice Department to attend the Drug Enforcement Administrators Drug Unit Commanders Academy at Quantico, Virginia. He has extensive training in all aspects of police investigation, specializing in Drug Investigations.
LIEUTENANT KEITH R. BOUVIER -- Commander of the Emergency Medical Services Division
Lt. Bouvier assumed his current assignment as Lieutenant of the Gretna Police Department on January 5, 1990. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1954, he began his career in the Gretna Police Department as an Emergency Medical Technician on October 4, 1985. Lt. Bouvier graduated as Valedictorian of Class #11 and received the B.H. Miller, Sr. Memorial Award from the Gretna Police Department Training Academy on April 10, 1986. Lt. Bouvier was assigned the duties of Supervisor of the Emergency Medical Services Division in July 1987. He was promoted to Sergeant in December 1987. On January 5, 1990, Lt. Bouvier was name Commander of the Emergency Medical Services Division and continues today to oversee the operations of the Division.
Lt. Bouvier is a certified Driving Instructor by the Louisiana Peace Officers Standards and Training Council. He is also a State Certified Emergency Medical Services Instructor and American Heart CPR & AED Instructor. Lt. Bouvier has attended several law enforcement, medical, and rescue training schools including the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. He continues today to instruct several courses in the Gretna Police Department Training Academy, as well as other law enforcement agencies.