Lafourche deputy tapped to lead homeland security

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Lafourche Parish has found its new point man in preparations for threats both natural and domestic.

Josh Champagne is the new director of Homeland Security for Lafourche Parish.

Champagne is a 21-year veteran with the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office who has spent 10 years acting as a liaison between the sheriff’s department and the U.S. Department of Justice. He also has 15 years’ experience with the sheriff’s office Interagency Crisis Management Unit.


Champagne retains a position with the LPSO, although he is a full-time employee for Lafourche Parish. He serves as a liaison between the parish and local, state and federal public safety agencies for different homeland security and emergency preparedness activities. Champagne said his immediate plans are to set evacuation routes, confirm contacts with different agencies are good and prepare citizens for the upcoming hurricane season.

“We’re just really sitting down, getting together and starting to prepare for hurricane season, and we’ll go on from there,” Champagne said.

The beginning of that preparation comes as weather experts have predicted a near-average 2016 Atlantic hurricane season. Climatologists from the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project estimated the season would contain 13 named storms, with six of those becoming hurricanes and two reaching at least Category 3 strength. Champagne said he has seen the predictions and they are part of his department’s preparation process.


Champagne himself has experience on the frontlines of storms, having been with the LPSO during all recent weather events, including hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Once Lafourche Parish was stabilized, he led a team in search and rescue and security operations in New Orleans and, later, Lake Charles, chalking up the work to neighborly calling.

“It’s a helping program. Those areas were really in need; we were there to help them. There’s no doubt if we were in need, they would be here to help us,” he said.

Parish President Cantrelle spoke to the importance of protecting Lafourche’s vital assets, both personal and economic, and touted Champagne as the man for the job.


“Now more than ever, we live in an uncertain world and Lafourche Parish has a number of important economic assets. We look forward to Josh’s addition to the parish team to prepare and protect our parish in the event we must deal with a security or disaster issue,” the parish president said. •

Josh Champagne