Representatives invite businesses to Mexico _lowres

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK -- Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux speaks during the Mexico Trade Mission to Gulf States Wednesday at the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise Center in Lafayette.

City-Parish Mayor-President Joel Robideaux wants to create a new deputy chief position in the police department, a person to take some of the workload off the chief but whose specific role has yet to be determined.

The proposal was introduced at Tuesday’s City-Parish Council meeting. The council is scheduled to vote Aug. 2 on whether to create the new position.

Robideaux, who took office in January, said the idea for a deputy chief grew out of a dialogue with police officers during his campaign last year.

“They thought it was a position that would be beneficial,” he said.

Robideaux said he envisions the deputy chief either taking over many of the chief’s administrative duties to allow the chief to spend more time connecting with the community or the other way around, with the chief focusing on administrative tasks while the deputy chief works to strengthen community relations.

“It’s really wide open,” he said.

Robideaux said the job will be shaped by the city’s next police chief.

The search for a new chief began after the retirement of former Chief Jim Craft in January.

The deadline for interested candidates to apply for the chief’s job is Wednesday.

The Lafayette Fire and Police Civil Service Board must review all the applications to ensure the candidates meet requirements for education and experience.

Robideaux can then choose the chief from any qualified applicants who score above the minimum threshold on the civil service test for the chief’s job.

The mayor-president said he expects a new chief to be in place within three months.

Reginald Thomas has been serving as interim chief.

In other business Tuesday, the council voted unanimously to begin a switch to paperless meetings, ending the practice of printing meeting information packets for council members, staff and representatives from the administration.

Councilwoman Nanette Cook, who sponsored the proposal, said the switch could save the roughly $1,200 a month city-parish government spends printing agendas and supporting materials for each meeting.

The School Board went paperless in 2008, and the airport commission made the switch within the past year.

Follow Richard Burgess on Twitter, @rbb100.​