Salute The Badge: Bossier artist, SPD captain present widow a portrait of fallen Panola deputy

Salute the Badge

PANOLA COUNTY, Texas (KTAL/KSHV) – A Shreveport Police captain and a local artist on Wednesday made a special presentation of an original portrait of a fallen east Texas deputy sheriff to his family.

Panola County Deputy Christopher Dickerson died Dec. 31, after a man identified as Gregory Newson of Shreveport allegedly opened fire on him as he tried to execute a traffic stop. Newson then fled from the scene, only to be apprehended in Shreveport by Shreveport police.

Today JaNiece Cefalu, a portrait artist, and SPD Capt. Joey Bartlett, went to Panola County to present a portrait of Dickerson to his wife, Krista and their two little girls.

Cefalu, who is a corrections officer for the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office, formerly worked in the telecommunications office for the Shreveport Police Department, has a history of painting portraits of fallen officers and presenting them to their families.

She’s painted portraits of officers and deputies from Baton Rouge, Dallas, Nacogdoches, Houston as well as Shreveport.

When SPD Officer Thomas LaValley was killed in 2015, Cefalu was still working in Shreveport and was acquainted with the young officer.

Having lost a son 20 years earlier, she understood the pain his mother, Jackie LaValley, was going through, so she painted a portrait of LaValley and presented it to his family on the day of his funeral.

Wednesday’s presentation to Krista Dickerson came a lot later than Cefalu had hoped, but COVID-19, Louisiana’s stay-at-home orders, as well as Texas’ prohibiting Louisianans from crossing the state line prevented the presentation until Wednesday.

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