Council starts discussion on electing BR police chief

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Posted: Feb 27, 2013 10:16 PM by Kristy Davis
Updated: Feb 27, 2013 10:16 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: Police Chief, Baton Rouge Police Department, elected chief, metro council

BATON ROUGE- City leaders tabled discussion about electing the police chief during Wednesday night's Metro Council meeting.

But, there was no shortage of opinions from citizens who voiced their concerns.

"Let me say that Baton Rouge can no longer accept an appointed police chief. And, we can no longer tolerate a mayor that's in the back pocket, or seemingly in the back pocket, of the police union," said Charles Bethley.

The council would need to decide to put the option of electing the chief up for a vote. Then there would need to be an election to change the city's charter. Following that, there would be an election for the chief of police.

The first public vote, if it gets that far, would be in October.

As the council debates among itself, and people talk about the issue, Carl Dabadie, the interim chief, said he is focused on moving the department forward.

"We're going to get through this," he said. "The police department, like everything else, has highs and lows and right now we're in a low and we got to get back to a high."

Dabadie replaces Dewayne White who was fired in the beginning of February. White accuses the mayor pandering to political pressure from the police union in Baton Rouge.

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