New era of leadership coming to the city of Zachary

There’s new leadership in the city of Zachary.
Published: Dec. 12, 2022 at 10:47 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 12, 2022 at 10:48 PM CST

ZACHARY, La. (WAFB) - There’s new leadership in the city of Zachary.

Current Police Chief David McDavid will become the city’s new mayor after a run-off victory against longtime councilman Francis Nezianya. McDavid secured 55 percent of the vote to come away with the win.

Daryl “Schuster” Lawrence, Jr. will step in and become the city’s new police chief after defeating Justin Nevels in a run-off election to lead the department. Lawrence won with 53 percent of the vote.

Both McDavid and Lawrence said they are still soaking in the moment.

“I’m excited, ready to hit the ground running, and ready to start working on the city,” McDavid said.

McDavid said the work has already started.

“We’re looking at hiring some personnel, looking at the different contractors we have with the city, and meeting with our council to see what their priorities are. We’ll get together to see what we need to put as our top priorities and go after it,” McDavid said.

As McDavid transitions into his role, he is also preparing Lawrence to take over the former post that he held for the last 11 years.

“Well, we met this morning to do a little transitioning. He’s already been there for 11 years with me. He’s been there altogether 33 years, so he understands what the system is, what he needs to do, and it’ll be a smooth transition,” McDavid said.

Lawrence served as the assistant police chief alongside McDavid and will get a chance to lead the police department.

“To continue to grow our police department, our police department has to grow along with our city,” Lawrence said.

On top of recruitment and new safety strategies, Lawrence said his biggest goal is maintaining trust between the people and police.

He said that starts with one-on-one engagement and hearing what people have to say.

“We want to make those concerns our citizens have our concerns,” Lawrence said.

Both McDavid and Lawrence say they are still trying to get used to the new titles attached to their names, but both are ready to work.

“We want to make sure we take care of the needs of our city and our citizens,” Lawrence said.

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