Two Democrats vying to replace retiring police chief in Baker

Two Democrats vying to replace retiring police chief in Baker
Carl Dunn (Source: Dunn's Campaign GoFundMe page
Carl Dunn (Source: Dunn's Campaign GoFundMe page
Darryl Rainwater (Source: Rainwater's Facebook page)
Darryl Rainwater (Source: Rainwater's Facebook page)

BAKER, LA (WAFB) - Two men with different ideas of policing are hoping to become the next police chief in Baker.

Current Baker Police Chief Mike Knaps is stepping down after 36 years on the force. He was elected to the position in 2008.

Both candidates are Democrats and have been disciplined while wearing the badge.

Carl Dunn is a retired Baton Rouge Police uniform patrol commander. He said he has fresh take on law enforcement.

"I did almost 27 of my years in uniform patrol. I love uniform patrol," Dunn said.

Dunn wants police officers to focus on building relationships with the community rather than on ticketing them. He said strengthening that bond sometimes means giving people a break.

"A police officer's job is to render the streets safe. So, that doesn't mean giving a ticket every time. One of the first things I will do under my leadership is a warning ticket," Dunn said.

While Dunn has worked this way through the ranks of the BRPD, there have been a few bruises along the way.

According to documents obtained by 9News, Dunn was suspended for ten days in 1989 for allegedly striking a woman in the face while she was handcuffed.

"My life was threatened. I saved five lives that day, but my life was also threatened," Dunn said.

In 1994, Dunn was suspended for 45 days for disobeying a direct order.

"I felt as though officers were being treated severely unfair. I took that head on and I learned," Dunn said. "Those incidents happened almost 30 years ago. I was a young officer going out there trying to be a hero every day. Yes, I did make mistakes. Yes, I paid for my mistakes. I was disciplined for those and I went on with my career. "

Baker Chief Deputy Marshal Darryl Rainwater, who has been on the city police force for 20 years, likes to connect with the community on the baseball diamond. The little league coach believes sports is the best way to keep kids out of trouble.

"When something happens, the kids are not afraid to approach you," Rainwater said.

Rainwater said he also wants to build the reserve officer and cadet programs to get more officers involved with the community. He said that also means penalizing those who break the law.

"If you work on the speeders and drugs, that kind of eliminates the bigger problems we might have in the city," Rainwater said.

The chief deputy marshal said he learned early in his career that rules are meant to be followed.

"I didn't get an oil change in time and I was suspended one day by Sheriff Gautreaux," Rainwater said.

Rainwater said he is proud to have been part of a force that has helped rank Baker as one of the safest cities to live. He wants to continue those efforts.

"I know what it takes to keep Baker safe," Rainwater said.

The election is set for March 5. The winner will take office on July 1.

Copyright 2016 WAFB. All rights reserved.