HAMMOND, La (BRPROUD) Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office announced the deaths of two deputies that died following complications due to COVID-19.
“It is with much sadness and a heavy heart that we share 59-year-old Sergeant Gerald Sopsher and 69-year- old Deputy Donnie Booty, both passed away this week in hospital beds,” Sheriff Daniel Edwards said.
Sopsher served as a Sergeant at the Tangipahoa Parish Jail and was known throughout the department for his loyal and dedicated service.
“Covid has taken a dear friend from our ranks,” Edwards said. “Sopsher was immensely loved and respected by his peers and will be greatly missed. “We will always be grateful for his service and he will never be forgotten.”
He spent most of his adult life serving and caring for members of our community. Sophser served for 13 years.
Booty spent the past three years serving the community as a bailiff at the Tangipahoa Parish Courthouse and is described as being an extremely kind and generous person.
“His loss leaves a void and pain in our hearts,” Edwards said. “Please keep these families and the TPSO in your thoughts and prayers.”
TPSO has been working on improving safety protocols and training deputies on the dangers of COVID-19.
TPSO Chief Jimmy Travis said that the goal is to help make Tangipahoa Parish safer and healthier.
“Like anything else, it’s a personal decision that someone makes,” Travis said. “Although we feel it’s best for people to get vaccinated, by no means is it department policy.”