Weston Broome launches search for new BRPD Chief; all department heads staying on as ‘interims’

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - With just three days until she takes office, Baton Rouge Mayor-President Elect Sharon Weston Broome said Thursday that the search for a new police chief is officially underway. However, she indicated that any changes in parish leadership will not happen overnight.

All department heads are going to stick around, taking on interim titles until she forms her own team. Broome emphasized this is one of the shortest transition periods on record in Baton Rouge history and that the search for new department heads will continue.

"This is a normal process, since each department head serves at the pleasure of the mayor," Broome said.

Overall, there are just over 20 days between when she was elected and when she will be sworn in next week. Part of the new government leadership roster includes a new Baton Rouge Police Chief to replace current Chief Carl Dabadie. She said she has reached out to national organizations to help recruit candidates.

"I'm looking for, as I've said on many occasions, someone who shares my vision as it relates to public safety, someone who will engage community policing not only as a program, but as the fabric of that department," Broome said.

Broome said she has met with the current chief, though said it was premature to speculate on what role he could play in the department going forward. Because Dabadie is a member of the civil service, removing him from his current position could be complicated, especially if he refuses to step down.

"Chief Dabadie and I have had some positive and productive conversations that will continue through this transition process," Broome said. "As I've said before, public safety is indeed a top priority for this administration."

Details about the search process for a new chief however, remain limited. Broome also said she is on the hunt to find a new Chief Administrative Officer. Current CAO William Daniel, who played a key role under Mayor-President Kip Holden, will stay on as interim CAO for the time being.

Broome also said she has had dinner with many members of the East Baton Rouge Metro Council, hoping to keep lines of conversation open.

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