Metro Council discussed red light cameras, police chief vacancy stalls

Published: Feb. 13, 2013 at 11:09 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 14, 2013 at 12:12 AM CST
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It was supposed to be a big night at Baton Rouge Metro Council, but the big item stalled right out of the gate. Also on the agenda were the controversial red light cameras.

As of now, the acting Baton Rouge Police Chief is Carl Dabadie, but just how the next permanent chief is selected was an issue few members of Metro Council were hoping to discuss Wednesday night.

It has been one week since Dewayne White says he was fired as Baton Rouge Police Chief.  Mayor Kip Holden says he has not fired White but is seriously considering terminating his employment.   A public hearing on that matter is set for next week. The current hiring and firing of the police chief is handled by the Mayor's office. No approval by Metro Council is necessary and that is a process Council Woman Denise Marcelle would like to see change.

She called for an open discussion for Wednesday's meeting to talk about other scenarios such as council appointment or even a public election for the position, but that proposal for discussion was quickly rejected by new Councilman John Delgado.

The council spoke about extending Baton Rouge's red light camera system. The item, which was added to the agenda by Mayor Kip Holden, would extend the city's contract until 2018.

When it came down to it, the red light camera contract was extended until December 31, 2013. Council wants more stats to decide whether the program is working. The vote for extending the contract passed 7 to 1. Councilman Scott Wilson voted against it and four people were absent.

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