YOUNGSVILLE — The City Council voted unanimously Thursday to reinstate funding for an assistant chief of police, two years after the position was eliminated.
Incoming Chief of Police Rickey Boudreaux said he feels the position is a much-needed addition to the city’s Police Department.
“There needs to be a good chain of command,” Boudreaux said. “He will be second in command. He will be used to keep me in check and make sure I don’t get too far off track.”
Boudreaux will replace current Chief of Police Earl Menard, who has served as Youngsville’s police chief for 28 years. Boudreaux defeated Menard in the Nov. 4 election.
Boudreaux said he has selected the person who will be his assistant chief, but he could not announce it publicly Thursday.
“(The candidate) couldn’t accept the position until it was officially funded,” Boudreaux said. “In my absence, he will be the acting chief. There will be times when I am out of town for conferences or training. I have full faith in him.”
The assistant police chief will earn $4,800 per month and will assume his role on Jan. 1. Boudreaux said the person he selected has worked with him for 21 years.
“When I started my law enforcement career, he started his,” Boudreaux said. “Either he has followed me or I’ve followed him, and we have come to trust each other fully. The Police Department has some growing pains to go through, but I think we can guide it in the right direction.”
Thursday night also marked the end of a 12-year tenure as mayor for Wilson Viator, who decided to retire this year, making way for Mayor-elect Ken Ritter to take over in January.
Viator joked that only one word will sum up his legacy: “roundabouts.” The mayor played an important role in the construction of Youngsville’s 10 roundabouts.
“I can sit here and put a list together a mile long of things we have accomplished,” Viator said. “Tonight is not just about one person. It’s council, mayor, police chief, staff all working together to get it done.”
Viator leaves the office with more than $6.2 million available funds — up from the $700,000 in the account when Viator took over in 2003.
“Citizens pay taxes to get things done,” Viator told the incoming council members. “You’ve got to be a good steward of the money and spend it wisely. That is why you can still pass a tax in this city if it’s really needed.”
Ritter said he is excited to begin building on the great base Viator is leaving him.
“I am excited to continue the progress we have made,” Ritter said, “and protect the reasons why people move to Youngsville: quality of life, safe community and great schools.”