BRPD Chief Murphy Paul resigning: See his one-on-one interview with Nakamoto
BATON ROUGE - Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul plans to resign as Chief of Police in the coming months.
The WBRZ Investigative Unit first reported on the decision Wednesday morning. In an exclusive sit-down interview with WBRZ Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto, the outgoing BRPD leader discussed the reasons why he's leaving and said it was done of his own volition.
"When I took this job I prayed," Paul said. "I prayed to take the job, and I had to pray to leave the job. It's a process and one I did not take lightly. A lot of prayer and thought went into it. It's time."
Paul's tenure has been marked with ups and downs. He's credited for being data-driven and creating the Real Time Crime Center.
"There's a small group of people responsible for crime," Paul said. "I think we agree that it takes a wholistic approach to address crime and I think the community involvement piece, we agree there are challenges in our criminal justice system as a whole. We arrested 4,000 last year and 2,000 this year. Where is the accountability. For those individuals we are arresting and taking to jail."
Paul also addressed unsolved murders that rocked the community to the core, including the killings of Devin Page Jr. and Allie Rice.
"We will never stop working," Paul said. "I was just briefed yesterday on those two cases. Those are high-profile cases that hurt the most because you don't have answers for the families, and you are still looking for closure because we have not made an arrest. And to look in the mothers' eyes and fathers' eyes and see the pain looking for answers and, unfortunately, until we can bring some type of accountability where we make an arrest and they are found guilty... That pain will still be there always."
Paul also addressed allegations that he disciplined people unfairly based on the color of their skin. He vehemently denied those allegations.
"Why someone would try to present that as the truth I don't understand their motivation," Paul said. "When it comes to discipline we focus on behavior and policies... not race."
Paul's resignation won’t be immediate. Paul is expected to remain in place until Mayor Sharon Weston Broome can name a replacement in November.
When asked what he's planning to do next, he was coy with his answer.
"I'm going to focus my time on my family and my health," Paul said. "There's some opportunities that have been presented...it could be a Walmart greeter."
Paul sent out the following message to the department Wednesday morning:
Mayor Sharon Weston Broome issued the following statement regarding his resignation:
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announces the departure of Baton Rouge Police Department Chief Murphy Paul later this year after an extraordinary five and half years of exemplary service. Chief Paul, known for his transformative leadership, has made significant contributions to the community during his tenure and has decided to move on from his position.
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome expressed her gratitude for Chief Paul's exceptional service, stating, "Chief Murphy Paul's leadership and dedication have brought about positive change within our police department. His vision and tireless efforts have laid a strong foundation for the future. We thank him for his remarkable service and wish him continued success in his future endeavors."
Under Chief Paul's guidance, the Baton Rouge Police Department experienced a monumental transformation. Notable achievements include the establishment of the Real Time Crime Center, which incorporates a network of hundreds of crime cameras and license plate readers throughout Baton Rouge. Additionally, Chief Paul spearheaded crime camera initiatives in collaboration with local businesses and residents, bolstering community safety. His dedication to modernizing law enforcement standards brought 21st-century practices to the police department, including the implementation of new hiring policies.
Chief Murphy Paul acknowledged the support he received during his tenure, saying, "It has been an honor to serve as the Police Chief of Baton Rouge. I am grateful for the opportunity to have made a difference and to have worked alongside such dedicated officers. I have full confidence in the future leadership of the department and will continue to support the seamless transition process."
Chief Paul played a crucial role in the department's successful exit from a federal consent decree, addressing racial and gender bias in hiring. He championed the cause of police officers, leading to a significant pay raise of 13%, effectively making the Baton Rouge Police Department competitive with its regional peers. During challenging times such as the aftermath of the Alton Sterling shooting, police ambush killings, and subsequent reforms, Chief Paul demonstrated exceptional leadership, guiding the department with integrity.
Chief Paul's tenure also coincided with the tragic events surrounding George Floyd, and he played a pivotal role in unifying the Baton Rouge community during those times. His unwavering commitment to fostering collaboration and understanding among residents has been invaluable.
Under Chief Paul's leadership, Baton Rouge experienced significant achievements in crime reduction, particularly during challenging periods such as the aftermath of the Great Flood of 2016 and the COVID-19 pandemic. While other communities struggled with ever increasing crime rates, Baton Rouge witnessed a 21% decrease in homicides and a 14% reduction in non-fatal shootings in 2022.
These results can be attributed to the diligent efforts of the Baton Rouge Police Department, which implemented data-driven strategies, proactive policing measures, and crucial community outreach initiatives under Chief Paul's guidance. By prioritizing the identification and accountability of individuals engaging in criminal activities, the department made substantial progress in creating a safer environment for the community.
Chief Paul's commitment to public safety extended beyond crime reduction. His emphasis on community outreach fostered stronger bonds between law enforcement and the residents of Baton Rouge, enhancing trust, cooperation, and shared responsibility in maintaining a secure and harmonious city.
Chief Paul's dedication to fostering collaboration among various law enforcement agencies, community organizations, and local stakeholders played a pivotal role in achieving these positive outcomes. By facilitating effective partnerships, Chief Paul promoted a united front and ensured that Baton Rouge remained a resilient and vibrant city for its residents.
Mayor Broome's Chief Administrative Officer, Dr. James Llorens, stated, "Chief Paul's departure marks the end of an era in our police department, but it also presents an opportunity for new leadership to build upon his accomplishments. We are committed to a thorough and diligent process in selecting the best candidate for the position of Police Chief."
Chief Paul has an extensive law enforcement career, having contributed to various boards and commissions. These include the Louisiana Governor’s Drug Policy Board, the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies (ASCIA), the Regional Counter-Drug Training Academy (RCTA), and the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Executive Board. Currently, Chief Paul holds a position on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). Furthermore, Chief Paul is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the FBI National Executive Institute.
Mayor Broome's administration is initiating the appropriate steps, including the administration of the Louisiana police chief exams, to identify candidates for the position. Successful candidates will proceed to interviews with Mayor Broome and her team, with the aim of finalizing the selection process and transitioning to a new Police Chief by November 2023. Dr. James Llorens, the Mayor's Chief Advisor, will oversee a rigorous process to ensure the best possible candidate is chosen.
The NAACP issued the following statement regarding the resignation:
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) today expresses its deep appreciation for the outstanding service of Baton Rouge Police Department Chief Murphy Paul. Chief Paul‘s resignation marks the end of an extraordinary five-and-a-half years of transformative leadership.
Chief Paul's tenure witnessed significant contributions to the community and the police department, setting a precedent for the future of Baton Rouge. His efforts have been instrumental in making monumental transformations in law enforcement standards and modernizing our department with 21st-century practices.
In the face of adversity, Chief Paul guided the Baton Rouge Police Department with unwavering resolve and dedication. His commitment to equality and justice mirrored the values of the NAACP and marked a meaningful stride toward a more inclusive law enforcement environment.
As we bid farewell to Chief Murphy Paul, the NAACP extends its heartfelt gratitude for his remarkable service and visionary leadership.
This is a developing story. Check WBRZ.com for updates throughout the day.
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