BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It's been three weeks since the Baton Rouge Police Department made headlines with a new twist to the story weekly, if not daily. But that's the drama between the department's upper management and Mayor Kip Holden's office. Caught in between are the people.
"It's all unfortunate. It just is. It's all unfortunate, but we're in a job that doesn't stop. Our job responsibilities are 24 hours a day and 7 days a week," said BRPD's provisional police chief Carl Dabadie.
A 27-year veteran of BRPD, Dabadie officially took over as provisional police chief on Tuesday.
"It's kind of like a roller coaster ride. Sometimes, you have highs and sometimes you have a low. We have hit a low, but we're coming out of that high and starting to move up to a high, and we have to have faith. We have to be positive, and we have to keep moving forward to get to the top of that high," said Chief Dabadie.
In doing so, Chief Dabadie said nothing has changed. The BRAVE project is going strong with future plans to expand. Programs like "Street Operations" targeting drugs and crime, are still in place, and officers remain on car, foot and even air patrol.
But with the recent firing of Dewayne White, the race issue has taken center stage and Dabadie said his men and women are doing their part to fix the divide.
"We want them to talk to us. We have to win their trust, and if we can win their trust, we can solve their crimes," said Chief Dabadie.
But before moving to the community, officer morale within the department needs some mending.
"Me coming from within and being here and knowing the guys and they know me, they know what I'm about. They know how I am. That's not going to change. I'm going to continue being positive and continue to be a motivator," said Chief Dabadie.
It's why Chief Dabadie said any changes within the department will come about because of promotions or transfers. Any bigger changes, he wants to leave for a permanent chief. Until then, it's time to put the divide aside and concentrate on what the badge means -- to protect and serve.