Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome told the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday that the International Association of Chiefs of Police will help her search for a new police chief and that she still has not received transition committee reports her office previously said she received a month ago.
The mayor-president told mostly media members in the Belle of Baton Rouge Hotel that she still has not finished tapping the leading members or creating the architecture of her administration. She has not yet named a police chief, a chief administrative officer nor seen the reports containing dozens of ideas that transition committee members brainstormed after she took office.
Broome said she expects to name a chief administrative officer and to receive her transition committee reports by mid-March, but that her negotiations with Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie have been slow-going. The mayor pledged along the campaign trail to replace Dabadie, but has run into hurdles navigating state civil service laws, which protect his job. She would not say Monday whether he has agreed to step down.
"While the process to hire a new chief is taking longer than anticipated, I am still very committed to a change in leadership," the mayor said. ".... He understands my vision and my goals in terms of the change in leadership."
During her hard-fought election campaign, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome repeatedly pr…
Broome reached out to the International Association of Chiefs of Police to help her find a replacement for Dabadie, and to create a "comprehensive plan to improve and enhance our police department," she said. Using the association to recruit a new chief is her preference over hiring a search firm for the chief, Broome added.
Another well-publicized topic within BRPD has been a pilot program to equip officers with body cameras. The program will end in mid-March and BRPD will likely need money from the mayor's office to permanently implement body camera usage.
Broome said she is committed to carrying forward the program, and added that her office will use the lessons learned in the pilot program to fully implement body cameras.
During her speech and a question-and-answer session, Broome referenced her desire to use reports from her transition committees to help determine what her priorities should be as mayor. But Broome, who took office on Jan. 2, said she has not seen any physical copies of the reports and that her transition co-chairs have been combing through them.
"I have not seen those reports," she said. "I don't have any physical copies of those reports."
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome will receive reports Tuesday from 21 transition committ…
Her statement Monday appeared to contradict a news release from her office on Jan. 30. The Jan. 30 release said Broome would receive transition committee reports on Jan. 31, and she said in a statement then that she looked forward to "receiving and reading the reports."
The Rev. Raymond Jetson, who is one of Broome's transition co-chairs, said later Monday that some reports were not complete by Jan. 31 and that the transition team decided the reports needed to be more uniform in their formatting. He said they will publicly present the reports to the mayor on March 15.
Though Jetson has been leading Broome's transition, he quashed the possibility of being her chief administrative officer.
"I will say to you that under no circumstances will I be accepting a paid position in the administration of Sharon Weston Broome," the reverend said.
One of Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome's transition committees has recommended fusing t…
The mayor said the only contents of transition reports she has seen were those that were leaked to The Advocate. The leaked report recommended merging the East Baton Rouge Public Housing Authority, the East Baton Rouge Parish Redevelopment Authority and the Office of Community Development.
Broome also spoke broadly about her goals for flood recovery in the parish. Her office is working on a plan to spend $11 million for flood recovery in Baton Rouge, which should be submitted to the Metro Council within the next two weeks.
The city's plan for spending flood recovery money will also go through a public comment phase. In addition, the mayor said she has sent a letter backing Gov. John Bel Edwards' request for $2.08 billion in additional flood aid from the federal government, and that her office is reaching out to the state's licensing board for contractors to clarify that contractors are responsible for hauling off reconstruction debris.
Saws hum, hammers pound and wheelbarrows squeak in the middle of the day in neighborhoods ne…