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Baton Rouge Police Union calls out Chief Murphy Paul after Metro Council outburst

2 months 15 hours 52 minutes ago Tuesday, October 03 2023 Oct 3, 2023 October 03, 2023 10:03 AM October 03, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The Baton Rouge Union of Police issued a statement Tuesday reacting to the department chief's "moment of passion" displayed at a Metro Council meeting. 

At the meeting, BRPD Chief Murphy Paul said the members of the Civil Service Board with "direct ties" to the Union took issue with the decisions he made, making his job more difficult. Watch the full moment here.

The Union issued the following statement Monday:

Murphy Paul, by his own admission, has enjoyed a favorable relationship with the current Union Of Police Executive Board which was elected in 2020. Due to recent events, the union, both rank-and-file members and executives, are witnessing a change in that relationship as we move forward.

Make no mistake, we are surprised and angered by the sudden, unprovoked, and baseless attacks recently aimed at the union in what Chief Paul called a “moment of passion.” That privilege, as taken by the chief, is certainly not available to ordinary police officers in Baton Rouge, nor should it be, whether patrolman or chief. And, as a matter of fact, and on the record, Chief Paul demands the utmost in professionalism and control of temper from his subordinates.

The Union stands accused of having an inappropriate relationship with The Metropolitan Council; How? By maintaining a relationship of shared information with the legislative branch of government as every other union in the nation does?

The Metro Council was accused of stacking The Municipal Fire And Police Civil Service Board with members who “are in the pocket of the union.” The only member of that board who may, or may not have ties to the union is the member who is elected, under law, by members of The Baton Rouge Police Department, just as the representative of the Fire Department is elected. Other members are nominated by LSU and SU, which means that the Metro Council and the Mayor must share or collaborate on a single nomination. The person currently holding that seat, who, incidentally, is under felony indictment, is certainly not “in the pocket” of the union.

We, all of us, are policing a city with young adults being killed on our streets, very young children being struck by wayward criminal gunfire, and an epidemic of drug dealing, and its associated body count, particularly as it concerns opioids and fentanyl.

Where is the “moment of passion” for these officers, and for the public they interact with daily? Where is the concern for the morale of the men and women who do their best every single day out on the streets? And, where is the realization, and recognition, from some in government, and some in the public that final accountability ultimately rests with Chief Murphy Paul?

To be clear, The Union possesses neither the will nor the inclination to interject ourselves into the political maneuvering of the departmental leadership. Our focus will remain on service to, and accountability to, the citizens we are sworn to serve.

But do not mistake our pledge to service and duty as a sign of weakness, or lack of resolve in the face of criticism from within. We will stand fast for the truth, and full disclosure before any governmental body, and the public.

We will keep all the recipients of this statement advised on a regular basis.

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