For those who are of the notion that the police chief should conform to their idea of a job description, or to history and tradition, I remind them that the position of Police Chief is an elected and administrative one, not to confuse it with a rank and file patrol officer. The position does not even require anyone with police experience at all, although most citizens would agree it is preferable! That’s why Arnaudville has had a history of chiefs and officers who were good men, but who were both literally and functionally illiterate.
To further enlighten some regarding my patrol duties, implying that I should be on a scheduled "shift", I say that in reality, I am on every shift, 24/7/365. While I do note that patrolling is NOT the primary function of a Police Chief, I am called by dispatchers and officers at any hour on any day, regardless of my location to assist on a consultative basis or physically back them up on a call. I am not complaining, but I receive citizens at my back door, and on my cell phone any time, day or night - weekends, holidays, etc., to hear their issues.
My responsibility is to lead, to develop and maintain policies and procedures, to enforce the latest laws from the state and ordinances from the town. I require all employees to have a working knowledge of the criminal and civil laws of the State of Louisiana, and to know the difference between civil and criminal laws. They need to know the Ordinances of the Town of Arnaudville, and the Arnaudville Police Department Operational Policies and Codes of Conduct.
I acknowledge that not everyone is pleased with me. In five years, I have made mistakes. I have ruffled feathers. I disrupted the status quo. But, one thing you can rely on is that I have continued to move toward progress, accepting the constructive criticism, taking it to heart, but not letting it sidetrack progress. I will continue to lead the department in a way that prioritizes the needs and safety of our officers, so that they can meet the needs of the people they serve.
I will be presenting a budget that includes raises for my employees. I will defend it vigorously, and invite any fair-minded citizen to support my recommendations, and any council member to fully consider the ramifications for our community when staffing and salary structure decisions are based entirely on finances and old traditions and claims, and not on what is best for the citizens and those who serve them in a 21 century environment. Show me a town’s budget, and I’ll tell you what its priorities are.