PEARL, Miss. (WJTV) – While the Baton Rouge Police killings are still fresh on the minds of every law enforcement officer, the tragedy is hitting especially close to home for one Pearl Police detective.
Detective Chris Picou grew up in Baton Rouge and was a family friend of one of the victims.
The streets that Chris Picou grew up on are permanent reminders of the three Baton Rouge Police officers viciously killed Sunday, July 17, 2016.
“I know that area well so when I heard the report Sunday morning it hit me pretty hard,” said Detective Picou.
But it’s what followed that really struck home.
“When it came out the officers that were killed, I realized that one of the deputies was a young man who was several years behind me, but, I grew up with his older brother,” said Detective Picou.
Picou is talking about veteran Officer Brad Garafola.
Picou remembers playing on little league teams and hanging out with his older brother Brett Garafola.
“I knew he had a little brother back then. You know when you’re in high school you don’t pay attention to people’s little brothers and so when I saw pictures of the officers, it hit me, hey I know this guy,” said Detective Picou.
Picou spoke with friends at the Baton Rouge Police Department after the Dallas shooting.
“The outside influences were the biggest issue with them and I know that officers were concerned and so it showed what happened. They had reason to be,” said Detective Picou.
Their worst fears were confirmed when an ex-marine from Missouri killed three of their officers.
“Well those officers, they’re concerned for their safety. They’re concerned for the community. When I talked to Sgt. Annie last week, he was hurt. He was hurt because of the way these situations were unfolding,” said Detective Picou.
Picou says he wants the Baton Rouge Police Department to know that Pearl Police Department is just a phone call away.
The other two officers killed in that attack were Montrell Jackson, who was a new dad, and Matthew Gerald.