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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Kevin Harrison
Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) New Orleans Division

ASAC Harrison's area of responsibility includes Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Shreveport and Monroe. He grew up in Assumption Parish, while his father managed Supreme Sugar Refinery near Napoleonville. He attended Assumption High School and upon graduation went to Nicholls State University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government.

ASAC Harrison then accepted an officer position with the Baton Rouge City Police Department, where he remained for one year and a half. He later accepted a trooper's position with the Louisiana State Police and was stationed in Houma. Most of his time spent with these organizations was in narcotics enforcement.

In 1986, he accepted a Special Agent position with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. He spent the next thirteen years in Texas mostly on the Mexican border and came home to Louisiana when he was promoted to the Resident Agent in Charge position in Baton Rouge. In 2002 he transferred to DEA Headquarters, Washington, D.C., to fulfill his management career path obligation where he was ultimately promoted to Associate Deputy Chief Inspector within the Office of Professional Responsibility. In 2005 he returned to Louisiana in his present position as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge.

ASAC Harrison is married to a kindergarten teacher and has two grown sons. He has five brothers and one sister. His eldest brother, Joe, is presently serving in the Louisiana Legislature as a State Representative.

ASAC Harrison received the DEA Administrator's Award twice for Exceptional Service; the United States Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service and was a Service to America Medal finalist for his search and rescue efforts in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. ASAC Harrison presently serves on the Governor’s Drug Control Policy Board.

Current Topic


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?
The ability to read sets the foundation of who we are and what we can be. Through reading we expand our world, learn new things and increase our base of knowledge. In fact, a parent’s reading level is the greatest factor in a child’s academic success. Children who can’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Louisiana, 20 percent of adults are illiterate – five points higher than the national rate. How is Louisiana combatting its illiteracy problem across generational lines? How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

Louisiana Public Square: The Power of Reading looks for answers and explores the value of lifelong reading through the lens of the PBS series The Great American Read Wednesday, August 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recorded Tuesday, August 14 in the Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion at Baton Rouge Community College.)

Our panelists are:
- Linda-Marie Barrett, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)
- Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS; Louisiana State Librarian
- Danny Heitman; Journalist and Louisiana author
- Miranda Restovic, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
- Gary Robertson; Adult Literacy Advocates

The program features interviews with John Cavalier, owner of Cavalier House Books; Gary Robertson, Executive Director of Adult Literacy Advocates; representatives from the LEH PRIME TIME intergenerational reading program, and Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick, Southern University VP of External Affairs, host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

This episode of Louisiana Public Square is underwritten by Community Coffee’s Cash for Schools Program, the Louisiana Forestry Association, LSU Press and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Authors Round the South.

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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

Recent Topics


     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

     06/18 - Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?  (ENCORE)

Is Louisiana a Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?

     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?

     04/18 - Balancing Eldercare

How much does Louisiana spend on nursing homes versus home and community-based care?
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