Home » Camp Minden’s Latest Youth Challenge Cadets Receive Welcome and Caution from Webster Parish Sheriff

Camp Minden’s Latest Youth Challenge Cadets Receive Welcome and Caution from Webster Parish Sheriff

by Minden Press-Herald

Special to the Minden Press-Herald

On Friday, Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker welcomed over 100 young men and women, the newest class of the Youth Challenge program at Camp Minden. Parker’s address to the group was a blend of encouragement and caution.

“I’m a staunch supporter of each of you and I’m committed to seeing you succeed,” Parker conveyed to the gathering. “While you’re here, you’re considered citizens of this parish, and it’s my duty to ensure your safety.”

However, alongside the warm welcome, the Sheriff issued a stern warning.

“While you remain within this compound, it’s the safest place for you. Here, you abide by Camp Minden’s regulations. But once you step beyond these fences, you’re under my jurisdiction, and my rules may not be to your liking,” Parker emphasized.

Parker highlighted the risks faced by those attempting to leave the compound. He underscored the potential dangers of traffic accidents on nearby highways, the lawful protection of private property, and the presence of venomous snakes in the surrounding woods.

“Consider the lurking threat of encountering sex offenders. For instance, at a nearby truck stop, if someone offers you a ride, you may vanish without a trace,” Parker cautioned. “If you do attempt to flee and we apprehend you, you won’t return here. There will be repercussions. If you’re over 18, you may find yourself at the BDCC (Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center), and I won’t hesitate to make that decision.”

Parker’s words of caution were intended as guidance, urging cadets to remain focused on completing the rigorous 22-week program.

“The time spent here is fleeting. If you complete the program, you’ll emerge as a better individual,” Parker asserted. “We may have future law enforcement officers, politicians, military personnel, and more among you. Strive to become exemplary citizens.”

The training and discipline at Camp Minden are designed to instill the right mindset in cadets, preparing them for graduation and future endeavors, the Sheriff explained.

“Refuse to be swayed by external influences. Counseling services are available administratively if you encounter difficulties. My deputies and I will make periodic visits to Camp Minden, always willing to lend an ear,” Parker assured the cadets.

“Remember, beyond that fence lies nothing for you. If we cross paths elsewhere and you’re causing trouble, don’t expect leniency. Those here won’t be able to intervene if you create a serious problem. This is your only warning,” he concluded.

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