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Council wants to close revolving door at police dept.

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Posted: Jul 9, 2014 9:33 PM by Brittany Weiss
Updated: Jul 9, 2014 9:33 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: Port Allen, Police, turnover, patrol, Brittany Weiss, council, ordinance

PORT ALLEN - The Port Allen City Council proposed an ordinance Wednesday night to crack down on police department patrol officers who quit the force shortly after being hired.

"The revolving door kind of employment thing we've been having with the police department is a concern," said Councilman Hugh Riviere.

There are 16 positions. Last year, seven officers left. So far this year, five have left.

"It was an exorbitant amount of turnover," said Councilman Garry Hubble.

Hubble and Riviere met with Chief Esdron Brown Monday to discuss the rapid turnover. Wednesday, Hubble introduced an ordinance that asks for a little more commitment from police officers.

The ordinance would require patrol officers to enter into a contract of sorts and would force the officer to pay the city back for training and equipment costs if they leave within a specific time period.

"Taxpayers of our city shouldn't be the ones to foot the bill for you," said Hubble. "You need to have something in there so that you have a commitment to us."

The city commits to training and equipment costs, but Hubble said some officers leave after their training is complete and the city is left with the bill.

Hubble says it's costing taxpayers as much as $3,500 every time an officer leaves. Some of that cost is in overtime, paid to an officer who has to fill the empty shift. It costs $1,800 alone for officers to become POST certified.

The fire department was already held to standards similar to these proposed for the police department before the city's department was consolidated with the parish at the beginning of the month.

This ordinance will be up for discussion at the next council meeting.

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