EBR Council delays vote on police chief measure

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Should the position of Baton Rouge Police Chief be appointed or elected? It has been a topic of discussion since former Baton Rouge Police Chief Dewayne White was fired. It was an item of discussion for Wednesday's East Baton Rouge Metro-Council meeting, but the action was delayed.

Councilwoman Denise Marcelle is trying to change the process so the people can elect the Police Chief. That would mean the position has a term limit and no one could fire the person, they would have to serve out their term.

The issue was to be considered at the council's meeting Wednesday but Marcelle asked that the matter be moved to the March 13th council meeting due to a low voter turnout.  Marcelle says an error in a newspaper report about the date when the matter would be discussed possibly led to the low public turnout.

If the council decides to put an issue to a vote of the people, Marcelle says the matter would likely be on the ballot in October.

Currently, the position for top cop is appointed by Mayor Kip Holden. Even though the Mayor says otherwise, the Civil Service Board says the position is classified.

That means the Mayor has to follow specific protocols in order to fire the Police Chief. Right now, the Mayor has the authority to fire the Chief.

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