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Thomas Glover Sr. gives a thumbs up as he is introduced as the new Lafayette police chief and applauded by Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory and Chief Administrative Officer Cydra Wingerter during a press conference Wednesday, December 23, 2020, at city hall in Lafayette, La.

Lafayette Consolidated Government has been granted an additional 30 days to find applicants for Lafayette’s next chief of police as the administration plans to bring in a consulting firm to assist in recruiting.

The Lafayette Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board approved the request by unanimous vote Wednesday; board member Christina Olivier was absent. The board originally approved posting notice for the open chief position at its April 13 meeting and the current application window was slated to close on May 18.

Board member Paul Mouton, a Lafayette Police Department sergeant, said four applications had been submitted as of Wednesday morning.

Cydra Wingerter, LCG chief administrative officer, said Mayor-President Josh Guillory’s administration is in talks with a professional police search firm to assist in vetting applicants and attracting candidates to have a well rounded pool.

She asked to extend the application window by 30 days so they can contract the firm and allow them to recruit more candidates.

In 2020, during the administration’s last chief search, a first application round only netted four candidates. LCG officials expressed concerns that the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on responses and opened a second round of applications that yielded 10 applicants, most from Louisiana. Dallas Police veteran Thomas Glover was chosen for the position after that search.

This would be the first time LCG has worked with a police search firm, Wingerter said.

“I’m not even saying we don’t like who we’ve got…We want to drive applicants to that process by a third party who knows what they’re doing. [It’s] beyond just advertising because that didn’t work last time. I don’t want to just trust that it’s going to work this time,” she said at Wednesday’s meeting.

The Acadiana Advocate has requested information on the search firm LCG is planning to use.

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Mouton expressed concerns that LCG was coming to the table to ask for more time after the board had already cautioned the administration to ensure they were prepared before starting the process, in light of the repeat searches required in 2020.

“If there’s anybody that sits on this board that [wants] y’all to have the best chance to provide leadership to the department, it’s me. I’ve been there for over 30 years. I know we’re in dire need of some stable, permanent leadership. The problem I have is that the process is the process,” he said.

There have been five leaders over the Lafayette Police Department since Guillory took office in January 2020. Chief Toby Aguillard resigned the day of Guillory’s swearing in, under pressure, and was followed by interim leader Scott Morgan. Glover was hired to be the next permanent chief in December 2020 but was ousted 10 months into his term. His termination appeal was rejected in March, but his attorney said they were considering further appeals. 

Sgt. Wayne Griffin, who was then tapped as interim leader, was put on administrative leave within two weeks of assuming leadership following a sexual harassment complaint. He was fired this January, but is appealing his termination. Maj. Monte Potier is the current interim leader of the department.

Board member Wayne Prejean said he was worried by the revolving door at LPD and wanted to ensure the administration was sincere in their efforts to find a long lasting leader.

The board voted to approve the extension after board chair Micky Broussard, a Lafayette Fire Department member, made a call to the Office of State Examiner, which administers fire and police civil service exams and provides guidance to local civil service bodies, to confirm an extension was allowable.

The extension strictly allows more time for people to apply; it will not impact candidates who’ve already submitted their applications, the board said.

Once applications are in, the board will ensure all candidates have the required credentials and education, then vote to allow them to advance to the state testing portion of the process.


Email Katie Gagliano at kgagliano@theadvocate.com