YOUNGSVILLE — Incoming Police Chief Rickey Boudreaux on Wednesday named his second-in-command, a week after the council restored funding for an assistant chief of police position and two years after then-Chief Earl Menard eliminated it.
Youngsville resident Nick Latiolais, 45, will assume the role Jan. 1.
“I’ve talked to a lot of people, and they’re excited about what me and Rickey are bringing to the Youngsville Police Department,” Latiolais said.
Latiolais, a Breaux Bridge native, has worked for the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office for 20 years, and he worked beside Boudreaux there for more than 15 years.
Boudreaux tapped him for the Youngsville role when the now chief-elect first ran for the office, and lost, in 2010, Latiolais said.
“When he decided to run again, he contacted me again,” Latiolais said. “I told him yes, so here we are.”
In his new role, Latiolais will be responsible not only for taking the reins when Boudreaux is out for training, conferences or vacation, but also for managing vehicle maintenance and researching and writing grants. Latiolais also will be in charge of supervising evidence collection, “which is a big problem over there right now,” Boudreaux said.
The department has been under investigation by Louisiana State Police since July after two former officers alleged evidence mishandling.
It won’t be Latiolais’ first time enforcing the law in Youngsville. Although he began his career for about 18 months at the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office, Latiolais worked for Youngsville from 1991-92 after he married native Jan Fremin.
When he moved to Youngsville 25 years ago, it was still “the old Youngsville,” Latiolais said, with a population of about 2,200. That number has since exploded to an estimated 11,000 residents this year.
“Times have definitely changed,” Latiolais said. “So it’s gonna be a little different from way back in the day.”
Latiolais was recruited to work in Lafayette in 1994, and he was promoted to assistant SWAT commander after serving in the narcotics, investigations, patrol and K-9 divisions, along with a stint on the Drug Enforcement Administration task force.
“He’s very well rounded,” Boudreaux said.
Latiolais’ hiring is the first new employee Boudreaux has announced since he was elected chief with 59 percent of the Nov. 4 vote. At Boudreaux’s request, Youngsville’s City Council unanimously voted at its Dec. 11 meeting to restore funding for the $4,800-a-month position.
Along with reorganizing the department, the chief-elect said he has plans to request more funding from the council to increase his staff to 20 officers. The department is now operating with 10 officers on a budget for 14.
Follow Lanie Lee Cook on Twitter, @lanieleecook, or contact her by phone at (337) 534-0825.