Cheers for Entergy workers who cared

It’s not often enough that we get to say good things about the men and women who keep up the power grid, doing thankless and often risky work so that the lights and the air conditioners stay on.

There are occasional articles – usually after big storms – that give some acknowledgement. But it should be remembered that these people are out there every day, working up on lines, removing meters from houses and installing new ones, routine work that has profound effects on the lives of people.

Recently, however, some Entergy workers earned praise for a different type of action.

Kasdan Oliver, Carl Prejean and Dustin Ledet were traveling in their truck when they saw blue lights flashing on the road up ahead. Prejean was driving and did the safe – as well as legal – move. He changed into the farthest lane to give the law enforcement officer room for whatever was being done and lessen the risk of a problem.

Trooper Justin Leonard had pulled over a vehicle, and what the Entergy men’s eyes saw as they got closer indicated something was very wrong.

Leonard was struggling with a man, apparently trying to subdue him. Oliver, Prejean and Ledet readied to assist. As their truck pulled safely over Oliver – all 285 pounds and six feet, two inches of him – alit and headed to the trooper’s aid.

“I put my knee on his back and grabbed his arm, and the trooper was able to put the handcuffs on him,” Oliver is quoted as saying in an Entergy newsletter.

Other police vehicles that had been rushing to the scene showed up, but with Oliver’s help the risk to the trooper as well as the suspect was already done with.

Capt. Frank Besson, Troop C’s commander, had plenty to say about the help his trooper received.

“Quite often troopers work by themselves on these roadways, and it’s a great feeling to know we can depend on people like your guys with Entergy who are going to stop and be willing to put themselves out there to help us out,” Besson told Entergy. “Especially with what’s going on in the world today, it’s not often you see people who are willing to help out law enforcement.”

Trooper Leonard had something to say as well.

“They went out of their way when they didn’t have to,” Leonard said. “You don’t see that too much nowadays, so I just thought they needed a little bit of recognition.”

All three workers were eager to help, and family ties may have helped with some motivation. Prejean has three

“When I saw the trooper struggling, I saw he was a young guy, and my first thought was it was my nephew,” Prejean said.

Oliver’s mother was an Assumption Parish Sheriff’s detective.

“I just knew the trooper needed help,” he said. “I just ran out there and took over as if I’d done it before.”

Even without the law enforcement connections, however, we are willing to bet that these workers would have made the same decisions.

And despite the belief expressed by some that “nowadays” there is a paucity of willingness to help law enforcement, we wish to err on the side of disagreement.

We believe most people recognize and respect the work that law enforcement officers do, and in particular that they understand the dangers involved. Nobody who has the opportunity to aid law enforcement officers in a crucial moment should pass on the potential, no matter their physical abilities. Those who are fragile or infirm can certainly notify authorities that there is an officer in trouble and should do so without hesitation. Others, who may be physically able to give direct help, should certainly do so.

In this case, the Entergy workers did what they thought was best, and there is no telling what tragedy they may have prevented, even though help was not far behind.

We commend them, and commend Entergy for passing on the story. We wish them – and law enforcement officers – safe travels and the ability to perform their jobs each day, and return unharmed to their waiting familes.