Arnaundville Police Department

Prêt à protéger, fier de servir

Ready to protect. Proud to Serve

The Chief's Blog

The Tide Will Turn

November 17, 2021


As we enter the holiday season – the season of “giving”, I reflect on the last year as your Chief. It has been a challenging year, both professionally and personally, but because I am a man of faith, I have to believe that my Maker is ultimately in control.


As a Police Chief managing a small rural department, my biggest challenge has been recruiting and retaining quality personnel. Arnaudville suffers the same fate and the same struggles as almost every other law enforcement agency in the country. We must recognize those elements that are impacting our efforts, and fight against some of the negative attitudes and perceptions we get from some of our citizens, from municipal officials, and from within our own ranks. We must acknowledge that there exists leadership that does not have the best interest of our citizens in mind; leadership that often turns its back on the brave and committed men and women who carry the badge and wear the uniform. There are invisible forces behind the scenes who would change the fundamental direction and values we have fought for for generations.


My over two decades serving in law enforcement has obviously been met with moments of challenge – Hurricane Katrina, big city crime, facing the tragedy and sorrow of fallen officers, meeting families of victims, and more – all to be anticipated as a police officer. What I never anticipated was a national movement that vilifies, disregards, dismisses and destroys the lives and livelihoods of decent, honest and hard-working law enforcement officers. A top-to-bottom movement that ultimately results in more crime, more disorder, and more chaos in communities and trauma to innocent citizens. As in every such movement, we always see a course correction, and I am optimistic that we will see the tide turn.


As I reflect on a personal level, I count the many family and friends who have been touched by a global pandemic that left us nowhere to hide and no immunity from devastating loss. My own brother succumbed to Covid-19, as did many of his fellow nursing home residents. Otherwise healthy family members, young and old did not escape the clutches of Covid. Attempting to understand the rationale for restrictions, mandates, and closures left more confusion, division and distrust. Covid took lives, but also took much more from us – our compassion, tolerance, empathy and trust. We are left as cynical, suspicious and mistrustful citizens choosing sides, and isolating and ostracizing those who dare to contradict or question.

But, as we move through all of this, we are left with our faith. Faith that tells us that while we are all on borrowed time, the best is still ahead of us. Life is constantly renewing, evolving and transforming into something better. We only need to wait, because the course will be corrected. The pendulum will swing the other way.


For those who can never see beyond their own selfishness or greed, or who fail to believe life is about giving and not taking, I have pity for them. The misery and hurt they inflict on others will come back to rest on their own souls. For the majority of us, the holiday season - the season of “giving” is but a time when our challenges, our pain and our struggles are overshadowed by the good we can do for others.


Happy Holidays, Arnaudville!

Blog

Complacency yields potential law suits in police departments...

Posted on March 13, 2014 at 1:42 AM
3/12/14

In between celebrating with family my son's 16th birthday and campaigning, I had some very interesting and encouraging conversations today, and am feeling good.  If I should be fortunate enough to win this election, I will not get comfortably because I realize that there will be another one right around the corner.  But, I will be ready on day one, because I am preparing now, getting ducks in a row.  

While on a personal level, I had some very good news, I was disappointed about what was going on with someone I know in the law enforcement arena - a good man, put in an awkward position by his superior.  That's all I can say about that.

Someone asked me today about civil liberties.  I am not a lawyer, but I think I'm right on this.  There is a difference between civil rights and civil liberties.  The term "civil rights" refers to protections from discrimination and other forms of unequal treatment on the basis of national origin, race, gender, etc. Civil rights also include freedom from cruel or excessive force by police officers.  "Civil liberties" are more about rights and freedoms that are guaranteed - speech, privacy, fair trial, vote, etc.  We, as law enforcement professionals are put to the test all the time.  Every interaction we have with the public can be scrutinized and therefore, must be absolutely within these laws.

A law that really relates to the employer/employee relationship is with EEOC, and employers have to be very careful about these laws, lest they get caught up in lawsuits.    For instance, harassment in the workplace can take the form of many things  -offensive jokes, slurs, name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule, insults or put-downs, etc.  And the harasser can be the supervisor, the boss, or a co-worker.  And what's more, the person filing the suit isn't always the victim, but may be the person who feels that the harassment causes a bad workplace environment. It only takes one person who is offended or feels uncomfortable because of the harassment of others to make a case.

It's not that easy being the boss, but if you make yourself familiar with all the laws, including the laws related to the workplace, and you train everyone, you (and they) will be less likely to screw up!  An organization that is complacent and sloppy on this issue is only one minute away from a potential lawsuit.
 

Categories: The candidate's journal

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