Community rallies around injured Benton Police officer

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Benton Police Officer LaRandle Taylor with his daughter. (Courtesy of Bossier Sheriff's Office)

The community is continuing to support an officer who was injured in the line of duty.

On Saturday, Jan. 11, Benton Police Department Officer LaRandle Taylor sustained life-threatening injuries during the severe storms that tracked through the Benton area. 

Officer Taylor was attempting to keep vehicles from hitting downed utility lines on La. Hwy. 3 just north of Burt Boulevard when a vehicle hit the downed utility line, causing the utility line to strike Officer Taylor and his police unit.  As a result, Taylor was electrocuted and sustained other serious injuries from the incident. 

Assistant Benton Police Chief Steve Collier says that Taylor is doing better, but he is still not able to make a fist with his left hand, prohibiting his ability to work.

“Everything seems to be going good, except for his left hand. He is still going through (physical) therapy,” Collier said. “He still doesn’t know when he will be able to come back to work. No one has been able to tell us.”

Collier also said that since the accident, all of Benton, and seemingly the whole parish, has rallied around Taylor.

“The whole town has come together to help LaRandle. I mean it’s like the entire parish has come together to help him,” Collier said. “You have a feeling of overwhelming support that you didn’t know that you had.”

Officer Taylor serves as a part-time police officer with the Benton Police Department, and with his part-time status, he is not eligible to receive sick pay and he does not have insurance to help cover his medical expenses. 

To show continued support to Officer Taylor The Bossier Sheriff’s Office held a Hamburger Lunch Fundraiser at the Bossier Parish Courthouse on Thursday, Jan. 30 for Officer Taylor.

All the proceeds went to Officer Taylor and his family to help them get through this period of time. The check was presented to Taylor on Jan. 31.

After reliving the events that happened that night, Collier keeps asking himself, “What could have been done differently?” Unfortunately, he says it was a complete freak accident.

“Really, nothing could have been done differently. It’s almost like you’re going down the road and someone pulls out of a side street and hits you. Whoever thought somebody would have drove over that power line and then for it to get caught up in the wheel? There were other drivers who drove over the power line, but they were going slower,” said Collier.