Matt Vezinot

Special Services Commander  |  Email


Vezinot was the supervisor of the Crime Scene/Photographic Services Division at Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office. He has been employed at CPSO since 1992. He served as an assistant team leader/team commander of the CPSO Special Operations Group (SWAT), as well as, a fingerprint instructor at the Calcasieu Parish Regional Law Enforcement Academy.

 

Vezinot served in the U.S. Army and was activated during Desert Storm. He is a member of several civic organizations and has attended numerous specialized law enforcement training schools with focus on crime scene management, forensics, and tactical operations. He is a graduate of the 228th Session FBI National Academy.


Crime Lab


The Southwest Louisiana Criminalistics Laboratory is a regional crime lab that serves a five parish area (Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis). The lab employs eight full time analysts, an evidence custodian, and a director. 5,000 cases were submitted to the laboratory in 2012.


The following services are provided by the Southwest Louisiana Crime Lab:

Chemistry

The chemistry section is involved in analyzing samples for the presence of controlled and non-controlled substances. The majority of samples analyzed contain marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and prescription medication.

 

Latent Prints

Items submitted to the laboratory can be processed for latent fingerprints. If latent fingerprints are found on evidence they can be compared to fingerprint cards taken from the suspect(s) or ran on AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) to see if a possible match occurs from the database. 

DNA

In the summer of 2006, the Southwest Louisiana Crime Lab began  performing DNA testing on casework. DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, is the genetic material which is present in almost every cell in a person's body. A person's DNA is the same in every one of their cells, so for example a man's blood, semen, and saliva will all have the same DNA. DNA has the capability of discriminating between any two individuals except for identical twins.

 

Blood Alcohol

This section of the laboratory is involved in testing a person's blood and urine for the presence of ethyl alcohol.


Aviation Unit


The mission of the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office (CPSO) Aviation Unit is to provide aerial support for the organization's patrol, investigative and administrative needs and to support other public agencies in Southwest Louisiana to secure a safer environment for the commerce and well being of the citizens. The goal of the Aviation Unit is to enhance the safety of the community and Sheriff's Office personnel through the strategic deployment of airborne technologies. The Unit strives to increase the safety of officers, as well as improve their effectiveness and efficiency through the timely use of properly equipped fixed-wing or rotary aircraft. The Unit also uses rotorcraft and powered parachute aircraft as needed to supplement its fixed-wing capability. 

 

A United States Department of Homeland Security Port Security Grant provided funding for the purchase of the CPSO's fixed-wing Cessna aircraft and FLIR (forward looking infrared) technology. A subsequent grant provided for broadcast microwave downlink equipment which allows the aircrew to transmit the FLIR camera imagery to personnel on the ground in real time. 

 

The aircraft is used in direct support of patrol operations as well as for surveillance activities and transportation as permitted by public law and or federal aviation regulations. The Aviation Unit is responsible for, but not limited to:

 

A.  Providing air support to patrol operations

 

B.  Providing the following special air support functions to units of the CPSO for the accomplishment of their missions.

 

1. Providing surveillance for investigative units;

2. Flying photographic missions as required for gathering evidence; 

3. Transportation of prisoners, detectives and other CPSO personnel

when appropriate.

4. Providing aerial security of V.I.P. and foreign dignitaries as required;

5. Search for lost or stranded persons and /or suspects; and

6. Any mission authorized by the Sheriff or the Sheriff's designee.

 

C. Providing assistance to incident commanders during unusual occurrences and other special events. 

  

All of the CPSO pilots are volunteers, highly qualified, and all live in Calcasieu Parish. Most all of them have military, law enforcement or search and rescue flight experience. They all hold either a commercial or airline transport pilot certificate. They are from a variety of occupations such as an air traffic controller, a veterinarian , engineers, a school teacher, law enforcement, or small business owners. 

 

The Airborne Law Enforcement Association standards recommend, although it is not required, that law enforcement pilots have at least a FAA Commercial Certificate. There are many agencies that allow private pilots to fly law enforcement aircraft. However, we wanted to set our bar high. That enabled us to spend less time getting those pilots comfortable in this aircraft. All of our pilots regularly fly aircraft more complex than the Sheriff’s Department’s Cessna 206. They fly sophisticated multi-engine aircraft and even business jets. So we did not have to spend the time most departments have to spend in training the pilots. As part of the purchase of the aircraft, Cessna sent a flight instructor to Lake Charles to give our pilots a two day course in this particular airplane and its systems.  


Forensic Investigations


The careful and scientific examination of physical evidence is well recognized as a critical element in law enforcement efforts to conduct successful criminal investigations and prosecutions. The Forensic Investigation Unit was formed to bring a high level of expertise to the investigations conducted by the Sheriff's Office and all other agencies in need of assistance.


The FIU is responsible for the documentation of major crime scenes including, but not limited to, homicides, suicides, sexual batteries, armed robberies, shootings, and suspicious deaths. Using the latest technology in different fields such as video and still photography the unit records details of a scene for future investigation, analysis and preparation for court review. The members of the unit are continuously researching new technology. The unit works hand in hand with investigators throughout the case from initial arrival at the scene to the courtroom.


The members of the Forensic Investigation Unit are required to attend hundreds of hours of training in every aspect the field. The members also oversee the procedures and training of the Patrol ID officers, which conduct the day-to-day crime scene and evidence recovery operations of the patrol shifts.


The members of the unit also work very closely with the Calcasieu Parish Coroner's Office and are currently working toward a Crime Scene Education Program in conjunction with area law enforcement agencies and the Coroner's Office.


Evidence


The Sheriff's Office Evidence Department is an integral part of the daily functions of the entire department. This Evidence Department is responsible for the intake and custody of all evidence and property within the entire Sheriff's Office. 


The Evidence Department maintains the physical chain of custody for criminal investigations. The Evidence custodians work daily with investigators, lab analyst and the District Attorney's office concerning evidence issues. The custodians also maintain a constant inventory on all of the approx. 50 thousand items that are currently being stored.


Farm


The Sheriff's Office farm plays an important role in the function of the entire office. The farm is comprised of more than 80 acres. The role of the farm is to provide a place for inmates to work in a structured environment. The inmates are rewarded for good behavior by getting to stay busy outside of the cell.


The farm grows a multitude of vegetables of which some are utilized in the correctional centers and also sold to the public.  They also sell firewood and hay to the public.


If you are interested in purchasing firewood, hay, or vegetables, call the Farm at 494-4517 to check availability and prices.


Photography


The Sheriff's Office Photographic Services serves more than 25 different agencies. The photo section serves as the hub for multi media services for the entire southwest Louisiana area.


The personnel assigned to the photo section have specialized training in photography, video, and audio equipment. The photo section continuously researches technology in order to stay up to date. Some of the services performed are digital and 35mm film processing, video enhancement, video and audio duplication, etc.


Vice Department


The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office Vice Department is a group of specialized Detectives with training in both overt and covert operations. The department handles cases involving organized crime, prostitution, gambling, child pornography, internet pornography, prescription fraud, unlawful sales of tobacco and alcohol, and misrepresentation of age.


The vice department works very closely with local pharmacies and physicians to combat the ongoing problem with narcotic prescriptions.


The vice department works daily with the Louisiana State Police and I.C.E. (Immigrations & Custom Enforcement) regarding investigations involving internet child pornography.

Vehicle Crimes Investigative Unit (VCIU)

The Vehicle Crimes Investigative Unit (VCIU) is composed of detectives whose primary mission is investigating all crimes involving any type of wheeled vehicles, (ex: cars, trucks, 4-wheelers, farm/commercial vehicles and equipment, trailers, etc.) These detectives are schooled in vehicle recognition, altered VIN's, chopped or torched reconstruction and more. The VCIU also oversee the "bait" car and other covert vehicle operations. The VCIU is a proactive unit that works closely with other investigative departments within the CPSO and outside agencies investigating and deterring these types of crimes.


Bar cards


BAR CARD OFFICE

5716 East Broad Street

Lake Charles, LA 70615

P  (337) 491-7960

     (337) 431-8027


Office Hours Tuesday & Thursday 

        8 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.

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New Card - $20 | Renewal - $5

CASH ONLY


Reserve Division


You probably have seen them around before, at Contraband Days, the Rabbit Festival, at the mall during the holidays, and other community events. They work patrol, stakeouts, and are on the waterways.  They are bus drivers, financial planners, plant operators, construction workers, and teachers.  They work side by side with other divisions of the Sheriff’s Office and are over 70 deputies strong.  They are the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Reserve Division.

 

The reserve program is based on some very simple concepts. “Promote citizen involvement in law enforcement.  Project and protect the integrity and professionalism of the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office while assisting the fellow members of our parish along with the visitors from other areas.”


This group networks with other reserve groups throughout the country through its professional association NRLO (National Reserve Law Officers Association).  When requested, the reserves travel out of the parish to aid other agencies who are short on law enforcement personnel for special events.

 

There are minimal requirements to become a deputy with the reserve division.  You must be 21 years of age, in good health, and have the flexibility to actively participate in the division.  We have a monthly meeting and a quarterly training class. 

 

If interested in becoming a reserve deputy, first, download and complete an application from the “Employment” section on this website.  For position applying for, put reserve division. Once you have submitted the application and all necessary paperwork, a background check will be completed and you will be called for an interview.  Interviews are scheduled at the end of the summer and the beginning of fall. 

 

If accepted you will attend a three week academy which is generally held in September or October.  The academy is conveniently set up in the evening from 6:00 and 9:00, Monday thru Thursday and all day on Saturday each of the three weeks to try and accommodate most professional work schedules.  The first week will be a study session to pass a written test at the end of the week along with firearms training on the first Saturday.  Passing the written test and qualifying with your firearm are mandatory to move on to the final two weeks of training.  There will be several skilled instructors aiding you in these tasks. 

 

Most of your questions will be answered during the interview process, but feel free to email us at reserve@cpso.com with any questions.  We look forward to working with you!


Narcotics Department


CPSO DRUG ENFORCEMENT/ COMBINED ANTI-DRUG TASK FORCE (C.A.T.)

 

The Drug Enforcement Department of the Sheriff's Office is the largest member agency in the C.A.T. Task Force. All of the local law enforcement agencies within Calcasieu Parish have combined resources and work together to fight the war on drugs.

 

The task force is divided up into three teams. The first team conducts undercover operations throughout Calcasieu Parish. The team utilizes paid assets who set up undercover narcotics purchases with known drug offenders.

 

The second team conducts knock and talk investigations. These investigations stem from information received from various sources. Information may come from the public, other agencies, and from people who have been arrested.

 

The third team targets those individuals and organizations moving quantities of narcotics and currency through Calcasieu Parish, via interstate, airport, bus terminal, etc. Narcotic sniffing dogs are a great tool which is used in detecting the presence of illegal narcotics as well as currency used in the illicit drug trade.

 

The personnel assigned to the drug enforcement efforts of the Sheriff's Office work around the clock in an effort to minimize the drug trade in Calcasieu Parish.

 

To report drug activity you may call the C.A.T. Task Force at 431-8001. You do not have to give your name.


Warrants Division



The Warrants Division is tasked with housing all warrants referred to the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office for service by other agencies and court systems within Calcasieu Parish. Agencies outside of Calcasieu, but within Louisiana, and from other states refer warrants for service as well. This division also facilitates the extradition process on behalf of the 14th Judicial District Court System.

 

Additionally, the warrants division maintains the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office Sex Offender registry for those convicted sex offenders required to register. Louisiana law provides for an aggressive posture regarding compliance which includes warrants deputies performing random, unannounced home visits ensuring offenders address information is current.