Residents react to announcement of new police chief

Carl Dabadie Jr. being sworn in as the new Baton Rouge Police Chief
Carl Dabadie Jr. being sworn in as the new Baton Rouge Police Chief

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Carl Dabadie Jr. was sworn-in Wednesday morning as the new police chief of the Baton Rouge Police Department and some people living in one of the city's most crime-ridden neighborhoods are excited to see a new, more permanent police chief.

Seabell Thomas is already praying for the new chief.

"The Lord is my shepherd and I shall not want," Thomas said as she quoted from her tattered Bible in her Baton Rouge home.

Thomas, who goes by "Mama," said she has seen police chiefs come and go. She wants BRPD's newest leader to stick around and talk to her community, a black community that Thomas said is dying. She pointed to a lack of education for poor black children.

"They have nobody to come and talk for them or represent them at the beginning of school. The mothers can't go with them, their fathers are locked up - most of them - they have two or three children at home that they can't feed," Thomas added.

She said she is worried this repeated behavior leads to crime and will make it difficult for the new chief and his officers.

"So, we have a burden on our community. If we have the right kind of law enforcement and the head of law enforcement, we can change some of these conditions," Thomas explained.

East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden spoke at a news conference announcing the new chief and touched on some of the initiatives at work in Thomas' neighborhood and specifically, the 70805 zip code.

"We want to eradicate crime wherever it happens," Holden said. "Regardless of the section of the community, we will take a stand."

Dabadie is a 27-year veteran of the police department.

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