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First round of BRPD chief candidates interviewed on Monday

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BATON ROUGE - Monday night marked the first round of interviews for candidates vying for the top spot in the Baton Rouge Police Department. 

The first round of candidates, Kevin Heinz, Myron Daniels, Timothy Ballard, Michael Manning, and Sharon Douglas, answered questions from the mayor's committee about their personal experience in police work and the current state of the BRPD. 

All five have worked in some capacity within BRPD. Each candidate was on the hot seat for nearly an hour. 

The committee asked about recovering the morale among the department after recent lawsuits regarding the BRAVE Cave. Current Deputy Chief Myron Daniels was careful in answering questions regarding the pending lawsuits against the department. 

"If I can go and walk up to these families and tell them that their loved one is not coming back, I don't think that a little back talk is going to ruin what I've got to do," Timothy Ballard said when asked about his abilities. 

Other prospects pitched their plans to tackle crime. 

"The biggest problem we have going on is going to be drugs," Michael Manning said. "I do not know of another metropolitan police department that does not have a narcotics division."

One consistently asked question was from a committee member from the community group Together Baton Rouge. She asked each candidate their stance on civilians playing a more active role in policing. Sharon Douglas supported the idea.

"I'm welcomed to conversing with community groups, political bodies, and religious leaders to figure out what that looks like for Baton Rouge," Douglas said.

On Thursday, five more candidates will be interviewed. The following Wednesday another group will go before the committee, who will have to select five finalists for Mayor President Sharon Weston Broome to choose from. 

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