BRPD identifies officers killed in chopper crash
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Baton Rouge Police Department has identified the two officers who died when a department helicopter crashed near Port Allen Sunday.
The victims were identified as Cpl. Scotty Canezaro, age 38, and Sgt. David Poirrier, age 47. Canezaro had been on the force for 16 years, while Poirrier had been with the Baton Rouge Police Department for 17 years.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said, “their heroism, sacrifice, and devotions to public service will never be forgotten.” The governor asked the state to join him in praying for their families.
In 2019, both men were recognized as the department’s “Officers of the Month.”
At the time those awards were given, the department said both men “are licensed helicopter pilots and trained tactical flight officers who patrol the skies of Baton Rouge on a nightly basis. They assist uniform patrol officers in their daily activities and play a major role in capturing fleeing suspects during active pursuits.”
The Baton Rouge Police Department released the following statement about the fallen officers:
The men were in the chopper assisting with a vehicle pursuit early Sunday morning, sources tell WAFB-TV. When the chase entered another parish, the pilots were eventually called off of the pursuit. Their aircraft crashed as they were flying back to Baton Rouge, sources said.
The Federal Aviation Administration released a preliminary cause of the crash Monday. The FAA report says the “aircraft tail rotor struck and tree and crashed inverted in a field.” The investigation into the crash continues and the FAA will determine if the aircraft had any mechanical or other issues that contributed to the crash.
Poirrier was promoted to Sergeant earlier this month. He made headlines in March of 2022 when he and another officer were in a BRPD helicopter and spotted a missing baby from the air. The eight-month-old was in a wooded area off Hooper Road.
Poirrier worked for the Denham Springs Police Department from 1999 to 2006. In 2002, he was named “Officer of the Year” by that department. Current Denham Springs Police Chief Rodney Walker says he was hired around the same time as Poirrier and the two frequently worked together. “He was a highly-valued employee here,” Walker said. “He was a high-energy, motivated employee. He did a lot of proactive police work.”
At the time of his 2002 award, then Denham Springs Police Chief Jeff Wesley said Poirrier had distinguished himself as a “true professional.” Prior to being hired in Denham Springs, Poirrier worked for the Springfield Police Department and the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Cpl. Canezaro frequently visited places like schools and daycare centers to show young people his police helicopter and explain the workings of the BRPD Air Patrol Division.
Karla Cormier, of Community Haven in Central, said Canezaro visited their facility last summer and, by the time he left, every child there wanted to be a pilot. “All of the kids were in awe,” Cormier said. “They were just super excited to see him.” She said Canezaro was supposed to visit the facility again in a few weeks to go swimming with the children. “It’s going to be hard to know that Pilot Scottie is not coming back,” she said.
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