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From Paul to Morse; how Baton Rouge selected a new police chief

6 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago Thursday, December 21 2023 Dec 21, 2023 December 21, 2023 10:01 AM December 21, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE — Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome named Thomas Morse, Jr. as the new police chief for the city of Baton Rouge on Thursday, selecting a replacement for Murphy Paul, who was named to the post in late 2017. Here's a timeline of how the selection process progressed:

July 12 - Paul tells the WBRZ Investigative Team that he wants to "focus my time on my family and my health" and announces his retirement. He said he had been presented with "some opportunities" and added, "It could be a Walmart greeter."

Aug. 25 - Deadline to apply for the post. Initially the city says 23 people applied, but subsequent lists of candidates have 24 names.

Aug. 28 - Broome tells the Baton Rouge Press Club she expects to have a new chief in place by Christmas. She thanks Paul for staying until his replacement starts. When Chief Carl Dabadie left suddenly in 2016 after a period of civil unrest following the Alton Sterling shooting, the city named an interim chief.

Sept. 14 - Of the two dozen candidates, only 22 show up to take a civil service exam, a 2.5-hour test with 120 multiple-choice questions. Applicants are also asked to review a mythical scenario involving policing and record a three-minute video of how they'd present the information to the Metro Council.

Sept. 27 - Amid fallout from the BRAVE Cave scandal, Paul blows up at Metro Council members after member Jen Racca suggests cutting the agency's budget. Paul responded "I'm sorry, Mayor-President, but I'm going to speak my mind on this one" before starting a tongue-lashing. A number of people ask him to resign immediately. He doesn't.

Oct. 6 - City releases test scores from the applicants. Of the 22 candidates, all but one achieved the passing score of 75 or higher.

Nov. 1 - After interviewing all 20 candidates, the Chief Selection Committee sends names of five finalists to Broome for additional interviews with her. After saying he would leave his post Nov. 3, Paul says he will stay until his replacement is named.

November-December: Broome interviews the finalists, who were passed along after achieving these scores on the civil service exam:

BRPD Commander in Training Services Division Thomas Morse, Jr. -- 91

BRPD Deputy Chief Myron Daniels -- 88

Former Lafayette Police Chief Thomas Glover -- 85

BRPD Captain David Wallace -- 84

BRPD Sergeant and Training Academy Director Sharon Douglas -- 82

Dec. 21 - Mayor-President names Morse as the city's new police chief, accomplishing her goal of having the position filled by Christmas. Paul has not announced his next move.

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