Christopher Lanclos has faced his fair share of trials and tribulations from the day he was born.
Now resident of Hammond Nursing Home, Lanclos wasn’t supposed to live past a few weeks after an accident during birth left him with a permanent developmental disability. But the 57-year-old Louisiana man has been too focused on living to let any disability get him down.
Following in the footsteps of his police officer father, he achieved a lifelong dream of being recognized as an honorary sheriff’s deputy by the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office — all thanks to his nursing home caregivers.
“He said, ‘Do you think it’s possible that I could be sheriff of this place?’” recounted Marcus Naquin, owner of Hammond Nursing Home. “And I said, ‘Well, Chris, that’s a tough ask. But you know what? Let me go check with the powers that be and see what I can conjure up.’ ”
Lanclos has always had a love of law enforcement, a fact evident in the way he’d light up whenever deputies visited the nursing home. After hearing his request, Naquin reached out to the sheriff’s office and got a response within a few days. They planned a special ceremony for Lanclos, assisted by law enforcement volunteers.
“I think there’s so many others that we could reach out anywhere and it just tells you that people still care and they still want to make people’s lives better,” said Jimmy Travis, chief of operations for the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office. “In the face of the daily negativity that we have, people are still human and have that ability to reach out and to make someone’s life better. That’s the real reward here.”
The community showed up in full force for the ceremony. Fellow residents filled the seats at the ceremony. Some even rescheduled appointments just to see Chris realize his well-known dream. The cherry on top? Chris got to go on a ride-along in a squad car.
“What’s funny is that he and I are the same age so it kind of hits home for me,” Naquin said. “He’s a special person that is institutionalized and has a very loving family but is just not able to take care of himself so he needs that extra healthcare. And we’re aiming for that [to] not only meet his daily needs physically, but now we’re really reaching out and meeting his emotional needs, bringing them to a level that that really he needs in his life.”