LAFAYETTE — Lafayette Police Cpl. Thaddeus Sices was moved to tears Friday when 500 students, teachers and staff at Lafayette Middle School turned a school assembly into a surprise celebration for him.
Sices then worked hard to suppress more tears when an opening curtain on the auditorium stage revealed his mom, dad, wife and many other family members who had come to see Chief Jim Craft promote Sices from corporal to sergeant.
Sices is a 17-year police veteran who has served as the Lafayette Middle resource officer for the last eight years.
The promotion, Craft said, was well earned.
“We’re here to honor a person who has done all the right things,” said Craft, who was joined by seven other high-ranking Lafayette police officers.
The promotion also means Sices will move on from his duties at the school. In January, he’ll report to the department’s Patrol Division, where he’ll serve as a supervisor, Craft said.
Craft said Police Cpl. Jarvis Mayfield will take over as Lafayette Middle School resource officer in January.
Mayfield will settle into a position that Sices has held since August 2005. Mayfield also will take over the role of mentor at the school’s Peace Keepers organization.
About five years ago, Sices started Peace Keepers, a society where the best-behaved students at Lafayette Middle work to stop fights and be respectful in a competition for a spot in the club.
In May, Peace Keepers held its fourth annual banquet for 92 students who made the cut in a yearlong competition decided by teachers.
Peace Keepers has won applause from many in the Lafayette Parish School District, including school system Superintendent Pat Cooper, Principal Monique Magee, Craft and other police officers.
At the school Friday, Magee presented Sices with a watch that represents “all the good times you’ve given us.” And police unveiled a cake with Sices’ image embedded in the icing.
“I’ve really enjoyed mentoring and counseling,” Sices said.
While visiting other officers outside the auditorium after the event, Sices’ wife approached him.
“Baby, I got a confession to make,” Keesha Sices said.
She told her husband that keeping the surprise a secret had been tough, with people constantly calling her cell phone about the event.
“I’ve been lying to you for two weeks,” she said.