LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Reggie Thomas was elected Lafayette City Marshal. He is the city’s first African American elected to a city-wide position. 

Former Louisiana Representative Terry Landry, was the state’s first black Superintendent of State Police.  

Lafayette Police Chief Thomas Glover is the city’s first black chief of police.

Landry responds to a question about his thoughts when Reggie Thomas won the Marshal seat. Landry says he realized Marshal Thomas had a message. Landry says in most cases when a message resonates with the people they look beyond political lines and color to vote for who they believe is best for them.

Thomas says he looks to history and the people who came before him

“It’s really hard for minorities to be promoted when you have such a small number,” Marshal Thomas said.

“I think one of the challenges is that we have to get more diversity into police departments,” the marshal added.

Landry agrees with Thomas.

“When you’re recruiting a diverse police department then you have that better relationship with the community,” Landry stated.

“That’s where the trust comes in; that’s the people you go to church with and that’s the people you see in the shopping store,” Landry explained.

Thomas believes he’s considered to be a mentor and he’s excited about it.

“I want to make sure I represent very well and I intend too,” Thomas said.

Landry says African Americans in leadership positions often become the focal point for many people.

“We have to carry ourselves in the proper manner to inspire young people coming after us to achieve the level of people and the level of success that we had.  I requires preparation” Landry said.

Police Chief Glover was unable to join the discussion due to a conflict in schedules.

However, since Glover was hired he has been open to discussing issues in particular topics related to community advancement.