Photo by: Chris Heller
Craig Jaccuzzo: Police Chief and Hercules XXXIII King
February 23, 2017
Craig Jaccuzzo, director of Nicholls police, discusses his life experiences as King XXXIII in Houma’s Hercules parade on February 18, 2017.
Jaccuzzo, one of nine children, was born and raised in Bayou Blue. He graduated from Central Lafourche High School and became a police officer at the age of 17. Jaccuzzo worked for the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s office as a lieutenant for a little over 15 years. In 2004, he became the police chief at Nicholls.
“One of my high school teachers inspired me to become a police officer,” Jaccuzzo said. “They thought my philosophy, personality and the way I carried myself would be a good fit in the public service and law enforcement field. I was the kid who graduated without a direction until I decided I wanted to become a police officer.”
Jaccuzzo decided, after being a police officer for eight years, to return to school in order to continue his education.
“I continued to work as a police officer but decided that I wanted to provide a better quality of life for my family,” Jaccuzzo said. “I obtained a masters in higher education and criminal justice administration, as well as a degree in criminal justice and political science. I am also working towards a doctorate and have just completed my post-graduate degree in global intelligence 21st century terrorism.”
Jaccuzzo enjoyed coming to Nicholls for his education. He liked the quality of education he earned and the relationship the Nicholls community had.
Jaccuzzo obtained his degrees from Nicholls, University of Louisiana at Monroe and Northwestern State University.
“As a student [at Nicholls], I got familiar with a lot of the faculty and staff on campus,” Jaccuzzo said. “I liked the idea that we are a four-year institution that offers masters degrees instead of just bachelors. It was close to home and a community that is extremely closely knit. I just knew it was the area for me, because they accepted me and all my flaws. If they could make such an impression on me, I wanted to do that for the people who followed me.”
Jaccuzzo teaches criminal justice and arts and sciences at Fletcher. He also teaches classes on campus when needed.
Jaccuzzo’s pride for Nicholls has only grown stronger as the years have passed.
“My favorite part of my job is watching the freshmen,” Jaccuzzo said. “When they first come in, they are wide-eyed. Everything is new to them and the campus is huge. Watching them progress into young adults and graduating with their degrees is rewarding thing. So much about them changes and it’s nice knowing that you just helped someone become a productive member of society.”
Jaccuzzo wants students to remember that they should never get discouraged.
Jaccuzzo has worked hard for the past fifteen years by constantly continuing his education and making sure Nicholls campus stays safe.
“I want to thank everyone for supporting Nicholls,” Jaccuzzo said. “It is the commitment and partnership between students, faculty and staff that is the key to our success. It is our best kept secret and that’s what truly makes us Harvard on the Bayou.”
Away from Nicholls’ campus, Jaccuzzo raises his two grandchildren, actively fishes with his wife and he’s an active member in a carnival club. He enjoys watching football and playing fantasy football.
Jaccuzzo was chosen to be King XXXIII of the Hercules parade that rolled through Houma last Saturday night.
“It was truly an amazing experience; it was a challenging year for us,” Jaccuzzo said. “We faced medical challenges with my wife, but we overcame them and being able to ride as King lifted our spirits.”
His reign began in August of 2016 and was filled with various events throughout the year.
“It was a once in a lifetime experience that I am extremely grateful for,” Jaccuzzo said.