A FAMILY AFFAIR
LDWF Enforcement Head Col. Joey Broussard Influenced by Father, Uncle
story by Adam Einck, LDWF Public Information
Joseph S. Broussard’s son, Joey, was a regular at the Lottie Wildlife Protection Association hunting club in Pointe Coupee Parish. The younger Broussard would tag along with his dad whenever possible to hunt, fish and enjoy the fellowship with other club members.
It’s where he developed a love of Louisiana’s outdoors. And, thanks to his uncle, Cecil, it’s where Broussard also learned and developed an appreciation for fair play, the rule of law and the importance it played in guarding Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.
Cecil Broussard was a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agent for more than 25 years before retiring in the late 1990s as a sergeant. He made such an impression on his nephew, now Col. Joey Broussard and the head of LDWF enforcement, that Joey decided to devote his life’s work to upholding law and specifically to serving with the LDWF enforcement division.
Though Joey Broussard landed a job with LDWF enforcement, he never thought he’d ascend to the division’s top ranking officer. That became reality in May of 2014 when he was appointed Chief of the LDWF Law Enforcement Division.
“Certainly going with my father, learning to hunt and fish with him, pushed me in the direction of wanting to work in some capacity with Wildlife and Fisheries,’’ Broussard said. “And seeing my uncle work as an agent furthered that desire. I would see him drive his Ford Bronco on patrols and all of his equipment and that really piqued my interest.
“But I never imagined that I would one day become the head of the LDWF Enforcement Division when I began my career.”
Broussard has spent his 25 years at LDWF working his way up the ranks and implementing changes that have made Louisiana’s enforcement division among the best in the nation.
“I’ve always been impressed by the job done by our enforcement agents and that was long before I took over here at LDWF,’’ LDWF Secretary Charlie Melancon said. “They’re professional, well trained and always go above and beyond what is asked of them. That’s truly a reflection on Joey and his leadership. I was fortunate to inherit him when I became Secretary.’’
Broussard began his law enforcement journey at the Pointe Coupee Sheriff’s Office and Fordoche Police Department. During those stints, he took the civil service exam.
In 1990, he applied for and was accepted into the LDWF Enforcement Division. But the job was located in Lafayette Parish, meaning he’d have to leave his home in Pointe Coupee Parish because of requirements that agents live in the parish in which they patrol.
“I was willing to move because I just wanted to get my foot in the door and start my career as an agent,” Broussard said. “I interviewed with my future lieutenant, Captain and then longtime Colonel Winton Vidrine. He hired me that same day.”
Broussard began his LDWF career as a cadet in 1991 as a part of the second class that graduated from the LDWF Training Academy. Before 1990 all cadets were trained to become wildlife and fisheries agents and receive their Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification at Louisiana State University and State Police.
The academy class Broussard attended was the second to be trained thoroughly in wildlife and fisheries laws in-house at LDWF. His class remains the only one that started and graduated with all 11 cadets without any dropouts and it also featured two future colonels, himself and retired Col. Jeff Mayne.
After graduating from the academy in August of 1991, Broussard began as a field officer. In 1996, he attained the rank of sergeant.
“I was happy being in the field and going on patrol,’’ Broussard said. “However, in order to receive promotions and to better your career you have to be looking for administration type positions.”
Broussard was transferred to LDWF enforcement headquarters in Baton Rouge in 1996 and was promoted to lieutenant a few years later. He became director over training and quartermaster and oversaw the state’s freshwater mussel program.
While in charge of training, Broussard oversaw many changes to the LDWF Cadet Academy. During his time as director of training, LDWF graduated its first academy class that was POST certified by LDWF instructors in 1998.
“I was a part of a training committee and our job was to make the academy better,’’ Broussard said. “I contacted the other 49 states and found out how they administered their wildlife and fisheries academies. To have our agents get their POST certification in house by our instructors was a big deal to the enforcement division. It meant we wouldn’t have to be dependent on other agencies to train our own cadets.”
Broussard also oversaw the cadet academy’s move to the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge in the late 1990s. Cadets now had an established location for lodging during the training week as well as a place to conduct physical, class and firearms training among other activities.
Broussard also oversaw the enforcement division’s change to a more uniform look as quartermaster.
“When I first started we had 10 different colored trucks with no markings or blue lights,’’ Broussard said. “In 1996 we started putting decals on our trucks and blue lights in them. This along with our uniforms made us look more professional and recognizable to the public.’’
In 2000, Broussard was promoted to captain and oversaw special and covert operations. A few years later he was elevated to major and administered coastal enforcement regions. In 2011, Broussard attained the rank of lieutenant colonel and supervised the patrol aspects of the agents in the field.
In 2013 he was named second in command under Mayne. When Mayne retired in May of 2014, Broussard was promoted to the top job.
“I wanted to be a field agent when I got this job,’’ Broussard said. “Starting out I never even dreamed of becoming a lieutenant or coming to headquarters let alone one day becoming the colonel in charge of the entire enforcement division. But when a job promotion came up, I went for it.”
Some of the other changes during his 25 years at LDWF include upgrading of the radio communications and the issuing of firearms to agents.
“When I first started we operated on an old radio system and there were no cell phones back then,’’ Broussard said. “In 1995 we upgraded the radios so that we could finally communicate with other law enforcement agencies, including state police. We have been able to keep up with the standard radio technology ever since. In 1997 LDWF purchased handguns for every agent in the state, a vital step for us to enchance enforcement.’’
Broussard said the accomplishment of which he’s most proud since becoming chief is raising LDWF agent pay so that it is in line with other law enforcement agencies.
“Keeping our pay competitive will go a long ways in attracting new highly qualified recruits and retaining guys that we have already trained for the job,” Broussard said. “This all adds up to a more professional group of agents in the field that benefits the department and public.”
During his tenure at the department, Broussard has seen crucial improvements put into place that have elevated LDWF enforcement. But there will come a time for retirement, he said.
That’s when he’ll likely head back to the beginning of his outdoor life by spending time with friends and family at the Lottie Wildlife Protective Association Hunting Club where he is now serving as manager.
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