BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Finding a new chief for the Baton Rouge Police Department is a campaign promise mayor-president elect Sharon Weston-Broome said she plans to make good on.
"As I said during the campaign, I think the chief is certainly an honorable man and I'm looking forward to our discussion about the future of the police department, so that is on the top of my list," Broome said.
A meeting with current police chief, Carl Dabadie, is also topping her list. In an interview with 9News partner, Talk 107.3 F, head of the Baton Rouge Police Union Sergeant Bryan Taylor said that meeting is critical. He said the only way a change in leadership at the department can happen is if Dabadie steps down. If he does not step down, things could get tricky.
"He is protected. He is a classified employee of our civil service system, therefore, the only way he could technically be removed if he chooses not to step down is if the mayor-elect would have to show cause why he wasn't doing his job," Taylor added. Exactly what Dabadie's role with the department will be remains unclear, but Taylor said if he decided to stay on with the city's police force, he would have to revert back to his former rank.
"I'm going to have a conversation with Chief Dabadie," Broome said. "After that, if we're going to do a local search or a national search, that is going to take more than a two week process."
It is unclear how the search for the city's next top cop will unfold, but Taylor said he hopes the next chief will come from within the department.
"Someone from within has a better understanding for the culture of Baton Rouge, and like our members, will be emotionally vested in the city," Taylor said. Whoever is chosen though, Taylor said the union will support the decision Broome makes.
"The union will work with whoever she may choose. We only want the most qualified person to lead this department," Taylor said.
Broome said the search will not be a quick process. She has met with Dabadie as well as other heads of law enforcement, but so far, she has not said if this conversation has come up.