Mayor-President Kip Holden’s pick for Baton Rouge’s next police chief was made official Tuesday when Dewayne White was sworn in as the city’s new top law enforcement officer.
Surrounded by friends, family and law enforcement officials from across Louisiana, White stood in front of state District Judge Tony Marabella and took the oath of office.
“Mr. Mayor, I will not let you down,” White said during a short speech at the ceremony, held in the Metro Council chambers at City Hall. “I will not let the citizens down.”
White, 51, was named Baton Rouge’s 27th police chief on Friday. Holden selected White from a list of five finalists chosen by an advisory committee.
White is a former Baton Rouge police officer who spent 21 years with State Police.
White left the state agency as a major. His last post was command inspector of State Police’s Joint Emergency Services Training Complex.
Raphael Myers, a retired state trooper and White’s former administrative officer, traveled from New Orleans to attend White’s swearing-in ceremony.
“I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” Myers said. “I am honored he invited me.”
Myers described his former boss as a “masterful administrator” who has “unbelievable people skills.”
White will listen to the needs of the community, Myers said, and he will do an excellent job as Baton Rouge’s police chief.
White said he will strive for excellence and will do the job to the best of his ability and “in a dignified and elegant manner.”
White, however, did not discuss his plans for fighting crime and managing the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Before White “holds any major press conference, he owes it to the men and women of this police force to talk to them and go over with them his plans and ideas,” Holden said.
After getting feedback from his colleagues, Holden said, White “will be making rounds in the entire community to let the citizens meet the new chief.”