BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - As news of Chief Carl Dabadie's retirement ricocheted around City Hall, members of the East Baton Rouge metro council sounded off. Many expressed shock, while others said they saw the announcement coming.
"I was very surprised and very disappointed," said Councilwoman, Barbara Freiberg.
"I think that's good for him. I don't think he made the decision haphazardly. I think he's looking forward to the future, and not just himself, but the City of Baton Rouge as a whole," said Councilwoman Donna Collins-Lewis.
Replacing the chief was one of Mayor-president Sharon Weston Broome's central promises during the campaign. However, she hit roadblocks once in office. Civil service rules bar her from firing the chief without cause.
"I think that she made political promises before she really knew the man, knew the person. I think once she knew the man, she realized he was a good police chief," Councilman Buddy Amoroso.
Members of the council praised the outgoing chief. "I've worked really well ever since I've been on the council, I respect him, I honor him," said Collins-Lewis.
"Chief Dabadie was a great man. I think he was a great police chief. He was the man we needed during this time period," said Amoroso.
As of Monday, members of the council would not say if they believed the chief's retirement was a good move for the city-parish. Many wanted to first see who the mayor has in mind as a replacement.
"I would hope that we look internally for the very best chief we can get, someone who can work with the officers," said Amoroso.
"I think she should be looking for someone who has a lot of the same qualities Chief Dabadie had," said Freiberg.
"We know that there's a bad image with the police department with the City of Baton Rouge right now, hopefully a new chief can come in and mend that," said Collins-Lewis.
The mayor promised the search for the new chief will be nationwide. The mayor's office said Broome will be in touch with the civil service board to open the application process later this week.