KALB INVESTIGATES: Active shooter training for Rapides Parish employees not happening

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Last month we reported that several local agencies were planning an active shooter training for Rapides Parish school employees. However, that training will not happen due to an investigation into a former Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office employee involved in organizing the event.

But, there's confusion among those involved from the start.

It all started back in July when Assistant District Attorney Ronnie Beard and Joey Comeaux with CoverSix Training Academy went before the school board about the possibility of holding training.

"Mr. Terrell is excited about education, he is interested in education," Beard said in front of the board. "But, we are also as interested as you are in safety."

Beard told the board the DA's office was facilitating the event and community members including Dallas Hixson of Hixson Autoplex would pick up the tab.

But, now District Attorney Phillip Terrell said otherwise.

"The District Attorney's Office is charged with prosecution, not police functions," Terrell said. "I don't represent the school board."

He said CoverSix CEO Joey Comeaux was in contact with his secretary Amber Carter and others in his office. News Channel Five has learned Carter is under investigation, but the specifics are unknown.

"I've met Mr. Comeaux twice, that I know of," Terrell said. "I understand that he has had contact with other people in my office and people in the sheriff's office. That has come to light pretty much without my knowledge, without the sheriff's knowledge."

Suspicion arose for Dallas Hixson and Joey Comeaux when they said the DA asked where the funds were.

"We sat down with Mr. Phillip and said what is going on, where is this money," Comeaux said. "We don't know if any money has been turned in or not, where are we on the money? Turns out we can't find any money. Mr. Dallas never put up any money and we don't know if anyone else ever did."

The parish-wide training was set to cost about $800,000. Comeaux said Carter asked him to cut that in half to around $300,000.

"Originally I was told that this was fully funded,"Comeaux said. "I was called for the last school board meeting at 3 p.m. Amber Carter called me, said come it's fully funded. Mr. Dallas Hixson is going to cover the funding."

Hixson echoed Comeaux and said he and Carter also talked about donations.

"I was told that the funds are already available, but I could certainly donate," Hixson said. "So, I believed her. I had no reason not to. Then I find out weeks later that apparently I am the only donor."

While speaking with Terrell he couldn't go into detail about the investigation on Carter, but said the training wasn't in his hands.

"First of all, it's not my business," Terrell said. "Secondly, I certainly don't wish any ill will toward certainly not the school board or anybody else. But, I mean it is their decision. If they choose not to go forward that is their decision and I understand from them yesterday there has been no agreement reached."

We reached out to Superintendent Nason Authement who declined to comment. Also, the September 4 training was never official because it was not confirmed by the full board at the August meeting.

Comeaux is disappointed.

"I'm completely heartbroken," Comeaux said. "I'm heartbroken for all 2,850 staff members, for all the students that were going to be there this year and still will. If anything happens, now, I have to sleep with that at night."

Unsure of how it got this way, Hixson said he still wants to find a way to get the district the training it needs.

"The training needs to take place," Hixson said. "I believe it is a proactive approach for Rapides Parish. It is an example for our entire state. I am irritated and frustrated that the young lady apparently has not told the truth, but more over, I want the training to get done."



 
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