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East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, left, and Baton Rouge Police Dept. Chief Carl Dabadie, Jr., embrace, after each addressed Texas Brotherhood Ride participants and family members of Baton Rouge law enforcement officers slain last summer, at ceremony Friday, July 14, 2017 at BRPD headquarters.

ADVOCATE STAFF PHOTO BY TRAVIS SPRADLING

The Baton Rouge community was rocked Monday, July 24, 2017, with Carl Dabadie's announcement as Baton Rouge Police Chief.

In a letter addressed to Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, Dabadie said it was an honor to lead the police department, but he felt his retirement would be the best thing for the department and himself while hinting at tension between him and Broome as a factor in his decision.

"I had hoped that our relationship could have grown into a strong partnership as we have faced times this city has never seen," Dabadie said. 

Dabadie said his retirement would be effective October 2, and suggested Deputy Chief David Hamilton to serve as BRPD's interim chief. 

The following collection highlights the various reactions to Dabaide's resignation:


Mayor-President Broome calls Dabadie an 'honorable man'; chooses interim

In a statement following Dabadie's resignation, Mayor-President said Chief Dabadie, "is an honorable man and I will continue to say that. He has served our city as police chief. Many people appreciate, certainly, his contribution to law enforcement."

Despite Dabadie's suggestion of Deputy Chief David Hamilton, Broome named Lt. Jonny Dunnam as interim chief. Dunnam has spent the past 28 years with BRPD, including the past three years as the top spokesman for the department following a lengthy stint in internal affairs. 


Here's how Broome will select Baton Rouge's next police chief

Broome said she will embark on a national search for Dabadie's replacement while Dunnam serves as interim chief. 

The choice of who will serve as BRPD chief next is solely on Broome, and the Metro Council does not have the ability to ratify Broome's choice based on the Baton Rouge plan of government.

In fact, as long as Broome keeps the future chief's salary within the range that maxes out at $145,510 -- just under Dabadie's salary -- the Metro Council will not have to approve or set the next chief's salary either.


Dabadie praised as a dedicated public servant, friend

From East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux to the Baton Rouge Metro Council members, city leadership expressed their feelings on Dabadie's retirement, congratulating him as well as remarking on his dedication to the Baton Rouge community. 

"Chief Dabadie will be hard to replace," East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said. "I hope that Baton Rouge is able to find a chief that has all of Carl’s talent, work ethic, fairness, passion for criminal justice and demeanor."

Some, like Councilman Buddy Amoroso, expressed feelings of doubt in Broome's ability to select the next chief, while Sgt. Bryan Taylor, president of the Baton Rouge police union, said he felt Dabadie did not get the respect he deserved.

"I cannot fathom the amount of stress he's been under for the past year," Taylor said. "He's been scrutinized, he's been told for over a year that he's going to be replaced for no cause. I do not think he was shown the respect he deserved as chief of police nor the respect he deserved as a police officer and as a man."


Kip Holden on Dabadie's, Broome's relationship: 'It will come back to haunt her'

Former Mayor-President Kip Holden, who hired Dabadie as his police chief in 2013, shared Taylor's sentiment, saying Dabadie had been treated unfairly and his retirement will be a terrible blow to Baton Rouge.

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He also said Broome's supposed strained relationship with Dabadie and his subsequent retirement will come back to haunt her, and moving forward will not be easy for her or whoever she selects as the next police chief.

"Whoever she has in mind [to replace Dabadie] — he or she will go through a tremendous amount of scrutiny," Holden said. "If she thought running for mayor was tough, taking on naming a police chief is going to be even tougher."


Lanny Keller: Baton Rouge mayor's call for new police chief a case of 'careful what you wish for'

In a reactionary column, Lanny Keller says Broome's quest to hire a new police chief of her own choosing may have come at the most inopportune time.

The Attorney General's Office is still reviewing the events of Alton Sterling's death during a confrontation with police officers July 5, 2016. Broome's choice for chief will likely have to decide whether to discipline the officers in the case, a decision that could bring derision from within the Baton Rouge Police Department or Broome's supporters in the black community.

"Had Dabadie stayed on a bit longer, that call might have come on his watch," Keller writes.