Many upset over ousting of Denham Springs Police Chief Scott Jones

Many upset over ousting of Denham Springs Police Chief Scott Jones
(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)

DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - The police chief in Denham Springs has been terminated after being placed on administrative leave roughly two months ago.

The Denham Springs City Council held a special meeting to discuss the future of Police Chief Scott Jones Thursday afternoon.

The council voted 4-1 to terminate Jones effective immediately. Jones refused to comment following the vote.

There was a packed house at the Denham Springs Municipal Building as the council reached its decision.

Many in attendance were in favor of Jones remaining the head of DSPD. Some had signs that read "I support Chief Scott Jones."

No one in the crowd spoke against the chief as the line of people who testified on Jones' behalf was still going strong after more than 45 minutes.

However, the show of support did not seem to influence the council in making its decision.

Jones' supporters asked for grace from the city council, saying "We all make mistakes."

"I don't know what's happened but we all need grace at some point," said one resident to the council during the meeting.

"We all need to search our hearts and do the right thing," said another resident.

One resident said that "if Scott made an error, he did so doing what he thought was right."

Jones sat in the front row, expressing a somber mood, as countless residents testify on his behalf. Jones' daughter also issued a tearful testimony.

Former Police Captain Steve Kistler also testified, saying Jones did nothing wrong.

"He did not coerce me, force me suggest or in any other way try and convince me to do what I did so if there's any blame it's mine, not his," Kistler added.

Jones and Kistler were placed on administrative leave by Mayor Gerard Landry on February 17. An internal affairs investigation was launched surrounding the way in which a domestic abuse case involving Councilman Christopher Davis was handled.

Davis, who was re-elected to the council in 2014, was initially issued a summons on January 15 after police responded to the domestic abuse complaint. Questions were raised as to whether or not Davis should have been booked into the prison. Police then arrested Davis on February 11 and booked him into the Livingston Parish Jail.

"I was accused of something and he turned me over to the  judicial system and that's what police officers do. You don't reprimand a police officer for doing what you asked them to do," Davis said.

During his testimony in front of the council Thursday, Kistler said that no one knew the specifics of what happened except himself and that Jones is a good man.

"No one was injured, no one was hurt you know no crime and he's [Mayor Landry] going to terminate two veteran officers now what does that sound like to you," Davis added.

Further controversy was sparked when Jeffery Blough was allowed to bond out of jail on a first offense DWI although he had 11 prior DWI arrests. Two hours after his release from the Denham Springs jail, Blough allegedly caused a second crash.

The mayor did not comment after the council meeting, but the following news release was handed out instead:

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