Parish leaders react to BRPD chief choice
BATON ROUGE- Louisiana State Police Maj. Donald Dewayne White will be sworn-in as the 27th Police Chief in Baton Rouge Tuesday.
News 2 broke the story that White was the front-runner for the job on Thursday's 10 p.m. newscast. Mayor Kip Holden made the pick official at a Friday morning press conference.
At that press conference, White said he understands this is an enormous task, but he's ready for it. Among White's top priorities are gaining public trust, being fair both with officers and the public and making sure Baton Rouge isn't known for crime in the future. Failure, he said, is not an option.
White said, "The obtainment of this goal may sound like a dream. Through persistence, determination and perseverance, all things are possible."
Holden said he chose White because they have similar backgrounds.
"He kind of mirrored my life. I didn't have a lot when I was coming up, but I was willing to work to get to where I am," Holden said, "And the same thing, similar stories. He did not have a lot, but he worked and wanted to be the best. When you have that kind of attitude, there's no road block that can come in your way because this person is determined to succeed. He's determined to be one of the best police chiefs we've had and that is something that really sold me."
Council members in attendance said they're happy with the choice, especially his commitment to holding both officers and the public to the same standards.
The officers union said they're ready to hear what White wants to bring to the table.
"We're excited about hearing his new initiatives he's got and working with him and trying to do a better job for the citizens of Baton Rouge," said Cpl. Chris Stewart, President of the Baton Rouge Police Union.
And those that will work side-by-side with White say he'll be a good partner to tackle crime with.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore said, "My advice to him would be to look at his hair right now and look at the color that it is and see what color it is in a year or two and look at his shoes and maybe think about putting tennis shoes on instead of the shiny shoes he has on today because the pace is hectic."
An aide for the mayor says a salary for White has not yet been negotiated. As of the press conference, White had not officially resigned from State Police.