Wednesday is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, so Northwestern State Athletics will honor local law enforcement officials at that evening’s 6:30 p.m. Demon basketball game in Prather Coliseum. NSU Athletics has provided 100 free tickets to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Natchitoches Police Department and NSU Campus Police. Tickets for any other law enforcement officials and their families are just $5 at the door with presentation of a badge or ID.
Before the Demons’ Southland Conference contest against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, law enforcement personnel and their families can eat free beginning at 5:30 p.m.. With presentation of their Law Enforcement Appreciation Day game ticket, they can enjoy free pizza provided by Domino’s and chicken fingers and sweet tea from Raising Cane’s for as long as supplies last. NSU Athletics will give away “NSU Back the Blue” T-shirts to the first 100 guests in the door. At halftime of the Demons’ contest, teams comprised of NPSO and NPD staff will compete in a basketball game, with a trophy and bragging rights going to the winner.
NSU Campus Police will officiate the special matchup.
Dr. Haley Taitano, associate athletic director for external affairs at NSU, said launching the Law Enforcement Appreciation Day event for basketball was a logical step forward. “We always host various Military Appreciation games and events, and we thought honoring our law enforcement was equally important. They do so much for us not only here at NSU, but in our communities and across the state and nation. It’s nice to do something to recognize them,” she said. “As the wife of someone who has dedicated his life to law enforcement, this event is especially dear to my heart,” said Taitano. “We’re excited to give back a little to those who do so much to protect us.”
The law enforcement teams will be led by head coaches, Merry Byers for the sheriff’s office and Capt. Brad Walker for city police.
Byers has been with the NPSO for 10 years and is chief of the Community Services Division. A former college student-athlete, she has also been a volunteer track and field coach at NSU for the last decade.
Walker is commander over the NPD patrol division. He has experience in many facets of the department including patrol, criminal investigations and commander of criminal investigations. He has been at the Natchitoches Police Department for over 20 years and was honored as the department’s coach because for many years he’s been an integral part of a fundraising game between NPSO and NPD, doing most of the organizing.
For more information about NSU’s Law Enforcement Appreciation Day at Wednesday’s 6:30 Demon basketball game in Prather Coliseum, contact Taitano at 318-357-4278 or visit NSUDemons.com.