Law enforcement Lewis

Law enforcement Lewis

Postby bailbath » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:45 am ... ck_check=1

In the years to come, he may become known as the Singing Captain. Whenever and however his tenure ends, Capt. Tommy Lewis intends to end it on a high note.

On July 11, Lewis was named to the commander’s position at Troop F of the Louisiana State Police.

Lewis was born in Ferriday and is kin to the legendary Jerry Lee Lewis, an early pioneer of rock ’n’ roll and contemporary of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.

By extension, Lewis is also related to country music singer Mickey Gilley and TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart.

“We’re cousins, and we’re pretty close,” Lewis said.

Lewis and newly named West Monroe Police Chief Jeff Terrell interviewed for a job at the West Monroe Police Department in roughly the same month in 1990.

“I had already applied at state police and they called me first,” Lewis said. “So I accepted. The next day, West Monroe police called me and offered me the job.”

Lewis said he has known Terrell and Ouachita Parish Sheriff Jay Russell, who took over last July, for years.

“I went to high school with Jay,” Lewis said. “So I’ve known a lot of those guys for some time.”

The Troop F commander's position had been vacant since June after former Commander Kevin Reeves was promoted to Region 2 command inspector in patrol.

Lewis, a resident of Ouachita Parish, has been with the Louisiana State Police for 23 years. Lewis began his career in 1990, where he worked at Troop F in the patrol divisions as a road trooper. In 1996, he served as the Troop F public information officer until he was promoted to sergeant in 1997, when he worked as a shift supervisor.

Lt. Brian Brinkerhoff, who serves as Troop F’s executive officer and runs the day-to-day operations of the troop, has worked with Lewis since he was hired by state police.

“We are in good hands,” Brinkerhoff said. “We’ve been together a long time.”

Brinkerhoff called Lewis very “community-oriented,” saying he was a role model for other troopers.

“He’s taken an active part in mentoring everyone here at this troop,” Brinkerhoff said. “And it’s a testament to how he’s in the position he’s in.”
Lewis’ father and grandfather were pastors in Ferriday when he was born, but it was his mother who influenced him to get into law enforcement.

“She took a job with (former Ouachita Parish) Sheriff Laymon Godwin’s campaign,” Lewis said, laughing. “So I got connected to law enforcement through her. A lot of people follow their father’s footsteps, but I followed my mom’s.”

With a father and grandfather manning the pulpit, it stands to reason Lewis spent a good bit of time at churches and developed a strong singing voice.

That voice came in handy when, on a dare from a friend, former Ouachita Parish High School head football coach John Carr, Lewis sang the national anthem for a crowd of about 5,000 at Amen Corner at the 2010 Masters Tournament.

“Tiger (Woods) had just teed off,” Lewis said. “John said, ‘I bet you won’t get up there and sing.’”

Lewis said he was game, but he did not want to get into trouble, so he asked a nearby security guard if he minded Lewis singing.

“He told me, ‘As long as it’s good,’ which I knew meant we weren’t going to get in trouble,” Lewis said.

In the video, which is available on YouTube, Lewis gains the attention of the crowd, and belts out the national anthem, which was capped off with a standing ovation.

“There’s probably not many people who came by Amen Corner and got a standing ovation,” Lewis said.

In 2009, he was promoted to lieutenant and served as the Troop F executive officer and later as a shift supervisor until his appointment as the new Troop F commander.

Lewis is the husband of fellow state trooper and former Troop F public information officer Julie Lewis.

Lewis said when he was appointed by Col. Mike Edmonson, state police superintendent, he was told to make his presence known.

“Col. Edmonson told me to get out there and be visible,” Lewis said. “He told me to meet as many heads of agencies as I can. Because that’s what law enforcement is all about. We are about the community service, and it’s my job to get out there to help my community.”

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