Four Acadiana men, including three current or former Lafayette Police officers, along with another from Shreveport and a sixth from Dallas are in the running to become Lafayette’s next police chief.
Mark Romero, chairman of a search committee appointed by Mayor-President Josh Guillory, announced Tuesday the names of the six men who took the civil service police chief exam in October. Ten men had applied for the job, but four did not take the exam and are no longer under consideration.
The six include Lafayette police spokesperson Sgt. Wayne Griffin; Lafayette police Sgt. Paul Trouard; retired Lafayette police Lt. Guy LeBreton; retired Dallas police Deputy Chief Thomas Glover Sr.; former Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office Cmdr. Bobby Jackson; and Southern University at Shreveport police Chief Edward Reynolds.
Guillory said Thursday he would like to select the new police chief by January but the process could take a little longer. Interim Chief Scott Morgan, appointed by Guillory to replace Toby Aguillard, was supposed to hold the job for a few months and it will soon be a year. When Guillory took office in January, he fired Aguillard, who was hired by his predecessor, Joel Robideaux.
Background checks are underway on the six remaining candidates, including criminal history, credit history, education and employment history.
The Lafayette Fire and Police Civil Service Board is expected to certify the police chief exam results Dec. 9. The search committee is expected to meet Dec. 4 to review applications and may interview the candidates Dec. 10-11 to narrow the pool to three or four.
Guillory, who will select the police chief, said the right person will exhibit “leadership, organization, integrity.” He will be “Someone who leads by example. Someone who can institute a culture of transparency, a culture of doing the right thing even when no one is looking.”
The race of the candidates, he said, will play no role in his selection.
“I will never hire anybody on the basis of race,” Guillory said.
Racial tensions in the city have been high since the August shooting death of Trayford Pellerin at the hands of city police officers, setting off a series of protests. The incident remains under investigation by state police. Two other officer-involved shootings occurred this year under Morgan’s tenure as police chief.
The status of race relations in the community, Guillory said, is extremely relevant for a new police chief. It’s important, he said, “that that person takes that into consideration in the decision-making process, in how they implement long-term policies, in bringing back community policing.”