12 applicants vie to become next chief of police for Baton Rouge

12 applicants vie to become next chief of police for Baton Rouge
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - In her hunt for a new police chief, the Baton Rouge mayor will not get to look very far. All 12 applicants have ties to Louisiana. Half of them either currently work for the Baton Rouge Police Department or worked for the agency in the past.

At the outset of her time in office, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome called for a potential nationwide search. However, that apparently never happened.

Interim Chief Administrative Officer James Llorens says the mayor had discussions with the International Association of Chiefs of Police about nationwide recruitment. However, the group warned the mayor that the city's civil service rules, including the chief exam, would deter applicants.

"I should be judged on my record, not on whether I have to take this test and pass this test," Llorens noted, saying that is what many applicants may think.

The applicants for chief with histories at BRPD are:

  • Myron Daniels, a former Marine who started with BRPD in 1998
  • Sharon Douglas, a Plaquemine High graduate who has been with BRPD since 2004
  • Riley Harbor III, who went to Capitol High and started working for BRPD in 1996
  • Darryl Honore, a Southern University graduate who joined BRPD in 1995
  • Robert McGarner, Jr., a Lee High grad and Army veteran who has worked for BRPD since 1989
  • Ronald Stevens, who worked for BRPD for nearly three decades before moving to the Louisiana Department of Justice
  • Samuel Wyatt, who has worked for the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Bossier City Police Department

The other six have backgrounds spanning from the Louisiana State Police to the Lake Charles Police Department:

  • Shawn Caldwell, a McNeese State grad who has worked for the Lake Charles Police Department since 1993
  • Richard Harrell, another McNeese State grad who has been with the Lake Charles PD since 1995
  • Jeremy Kent, an alumnus of the University of Louisiana who worked for the Monroe Police Department from 2002 to 2016
  • Mark Kraus, a McNeese State graduate who worked for the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office for a few months in 1987 before starting with the Lake Charles PD in 1989
  • Murphy Paul, Jr., a Loyola University graduate who has been with the Louisiana State Police since 1994
  • Samuel Wyatt, who has worked for the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Bossier City Police Department

Llorens says that even if there was no nationwide search, the mayor is still "satisfied" and confident they will be able to find a good leader. "We certainly believe there are very strong, capable candidates within Louisiana," Llorens said.

Still, others in the community wonder if good candidates were turned away because of the civil service requirements. That includes Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge. Earlier this year, James drafted legislation aimed at removing the chief from the civil service rules. That bill never got off the ground at the capitol.

"I would like as many people as possible to apply, because there may be the perfect person for Baton Rouge sitting somewhere in Oklahoma or Tallahassee who didn't apply," said James.

The application period ended Tuesday, August 29. The board will now review all the applications at its next meeting, which is set to be held on September 14 at 9:30 a.m.

The eligible applicants will then be asked to take a written test on October 10. They must score at least a 75 to be considered for the position. The successful applications will then be sent to the mayor's office for review.

After four to six weeks, the state examiner will present the scores to the board and they will likely consider the applicants a second time at the November 16 board meeting.

Former Chief Carl Dabadie announced his retirement on July 24.

RELATED: EBR Metro Council reacts to news of BRPD chief's retirement

See the list of candidates below:

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