Arnaudville Police Department
The Chief's Blog
The Chief's Blog
The Tide Will Turn
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!
|Posted on May 27, 2019 at 2:57 PM|
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.
Categories: The Working Chief