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SHERIFF’S OFFICE HOLDS CEREMONY TO REMEMBER OFFICERS LOST TO COVID-19

NEW ORLEANS - 04-28-2021

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman today lead a ceremony where balloons were released in memory of three OPSO officers and a recent retiree who died from COVID19.COVID_Rememberance

Sheriff Gusman and a large contingent of Sheriff's Office employees gathered on the patio of the Orleans Justice Center to remember Deputy Vanessa Mackey, Deputy Eric Frazier, Lt. Garry P. Duplessis, Jr., and a recent retiree, Deputy Robert "Bobby" Randall.

Deputy Mackey had completed four years of service and was assigned to the Orleans Justice Center at the time of her death on April 14, 2020.

Deputy Eric Frazier, a nine-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office, passed away on April 18, 2020. He was a familiar face at Orleans Parish Criminal District Court where he earned the respect of judges and court observers. His last assignment was at the Orleans Justice Center.

Lt. Garry P. Duplessis, Jr., passed away one year ago today on April 28, 2020. Lt. Duplessis served the Sheriff's Office for 28 years in a variety of positions, starting his career in what was then the Juvenile Division. His other jail assignments were at the South White Street facility, the House of Detention, Templeman 5 and "The Tents," facilities which have all been closed. Lt. Duplessis also served stints in the OPSO Warehouse and the Work-Release Program. He was commander of the Central Control Unit at the Orleans Justice Center at the time of his death.

OPSO Rememberance

Deputy Randall began his career at the Sheriff's Office in August 2006. He served in the OPSO Kitchen Warehouse until he retired in January 2020. Two months later – as the pandemic was starting to spread throughout the country and the world, Deputy Randall passed away.

"The OPSO family continues to mourn the loss of our officers due to COVID-19," said Sheriff Gusman. "The best way to honor their service and sacrifice to this community is to remain vigilant in the fight against the coronavirus. We will get through this by keeping our guard up, caring for each other, and having faith that better days are ahead."

Today's ceremony included a prayer led by OPSO Chaplain Edward Hulbert along with a minute of silence before the balloons were released. Also on display were photographs of the fallen officers and a wreath with their names inscribed on it. Flags at Sheriff's Office facilities have been lowered to half-staff in honor of the fallen officers. The flags will remain at half-staff through Friday.

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