LAFAYETTE, La. (The Advertiser)- The second search for a new Lafayette police chief ended this week with six more candidates applying to lead the department under fire after officers killed a Black man and protesters responded by demanding accountability and change.
Lafayette’s Fire and Police Civil Service Board voted unanimously to reopen the search for a new police chief on Aug. 12 after Mayor-President Josh Guillory said in July that he wanted a larger pool of applicants than the four who applied in the first search, The Advertiser reported.
The job was posted again on Aug. 17.
“I’m not going to rush through on the first batch. I’m hopeful, for our people, for our administration, for our police department, that the magic person is right there in round one, and they may be,” Guillory stated previously.
Guillory said he was concerned the coronavirus pandemic would derail the search and contribute to a smaller pool of applicants for the position.
Lt. Scott Morgan has served as interim chief since Guillory forced out Chief Toby Aguillard in January. Since the killing of Pellerin on Aug. 21, the department has come under scrutiny with Morgan at the helm.
Multiple officers responding to a call about a man with a knife opened fire with at least 17 shots, hitting Pellerin 10 times at close range, an independent autopsy found.
Local activists and protesters concerned about how officers handled their interaction with Pellerin have demanded police reform and training, as well as the resignation of Morgan and Guillory. They’ve also cited a second incident of a Black teen being punched repeatedly by an officer during an arrest.
The first round of applicants includes retired Louisiana State Police Lt. Eric Bruson, who has more than 25 years in law enforcement experience; Lafayette Police Sgt. Wayne Griffin, who has been with the department since 2002; retired Lafayette Police Sgt. Guy LeBreton, who has more than 25 years of law enforcement experience; and Lafayette Police Sgt. Paul Trouard, who joined the department in 1997.
Previous applicants did not have to re-apply for the position. The Lafayette’s Fire and Police Civil Service Board stated when they reopened the search that those candidates would remain in the applicant pool.
The second chief search closed Tuesday. Among the new applicants are Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Lt. Jason McRight, and Samuel Wyatt, the director of the Office of Internal Audit at Louisiana State University who previously applied in 2016 and complained to former Mayor President Joel Robideaux about the selection process.
The other new applicants are former Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Commander of Criminal Investigations Bobby Jackson; Southern University of Shreveport Chief of Police Edward Reynolds, who was also Chief of Police in Wilton, Maine; retired Dallas Police Department Lt. Thomas Glover; former Assistant Chief of Police in Virginia, Stacy Kelly, who is now the professional services manager at Axon, a law enforcement technology company in Arizona.
Meet the candidates who applied to become Lafayette’s police chief
Retired Louisiana State Police Lt. Eric Burson
Law enforcement experience: 25 years
Education: Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice from the University of Southwestern Louisiana
Current job: Accident re-constructionist for A&M Forensics and Engineering; and part-time deputy with the crash response team with Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office
Past jobs: Louisiana State Police trooper, sergeant and lieutenant working in areas including as a detective, in Motor Carrier Safety and with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
Other training and certifications: Accident re-constructionist certification
Lafayette Police Sgt. Wayne Griffin
Law enforcement experience: 18 years
Education: Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice from Louisiana State University at Alexandria; Master’s in Business Administration from Husson University in Maine
Current job: Lafayette police public information officer
Past jobs: Lafayette Police School Resource Officer, SWAT team operator, narcotics team and patrol; four years with the U.S. Marine Corps with duties that included training young Marines
Other training and certifications: Louisiana Sergeants’ course; FBI-LEEDA Supervisor, Command and Executive leadership institutes; National Tactical Police Office’s Association Command College; POST Adult Learning Instructor Course
Retired Lafayette Police Sgt. Guy LeBreton
Law enforcement experience: 27 years
Education: Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice from the University of Southwestern Louisiana; Master’s in Homeland Security from Northwestern State University
Current job: Federal courthouse security officer
Past jobs: Lafayette Police Department for 22 years, rising to sergeant and acting as watch commander before retiring; University of Southwestern Louisiana Police officer from Feb. 1992-June 1994
Other training and certifications: FBI-LEEDA Supervisor, Command and Executive leadership institutes
Lafayette Police Sgt. Paul Trouard
Law enforcement experience: 23 years
Education: Bachelor’s in General Studies from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette; pursuing a Master’s in Organizational Leadership from Columbia Southern University in Alabama
Current job: Lafayette Police Department sergeant whose duties have included working as a patrol officer, a field training officer, a detective and officer-involved shooting supervisor
Other training and certifications: FBI National Academy
Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Lt. Jason McRight
Law enforcement experience: 30 years
Education: BS McNeese State University, Criminal Justice Minored in Psychology 1997. MS McNeese State University, Criminal Justice Major Paper: “Racial Bias in Policing”.
Current Job: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Lieutenant
Past Jobs: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Sergeant, Lieutenant of Vice & Organized Crime Unit and Safe School Program/Enforcement Support Division. Calcasieu Parish Sheriff supervisor, assistance supervisor, detective, Patrol Deputy, correctional officer.
Other training and certifications: Certified as a Law Enforcement Planner by the International Association of Law, Advanced Polygraph Training Course, Post-Conviction Sexual Offender Treatment and Monitoring Certification
Former Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Commander Bobby Jackson
Law enforcement experience: 17 years
Education: Bachelor’s of Criminal Justice from Louisiana State University
Current Job: Jackson Investigations, owner, in New Iberia
Past Jobs: Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Commander of Criminal Investigations; US Army Reserves (on active duty), Assistant Chief of Staff; Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control-Director of Enforcement, ATC Investigator, and ATC Investigator Supervisor; Louisiana Department of Corrections Probation and Parole Officer; New Iberia Police Officer; Southern University Police Department; Iberia Parish Sheriffs Narcotics Officer.
Other training and certifications: Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy; Army Military Intelligence Officer Advance Course; Master Police K9 Trainer
Southern University at Shreveport Police Chief Edwards Reynolds
Law enforcement experience: 25 years
Education: Masters in Education from University of Bridgeport. FBI Police Executive Command College.
Current Job: Chief of Police for Southern University at Shreveport University Police Department.
Past Jobs: Chief of Police, Forrest City Police Department in Arkansas; Chief of Police, Wilton Police Department in Maine; Detective, New Haven Police Department in Connecticut.
Retired Dallas Police Department Lt. Thomas Glover
Law enforcement experience: 36 years
Education: Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice, Grambling State University.
Current Job: Retired Dallas Police Department Lieutenant.
Past Jobs: Dallas Police Department Division Commander over investigative unit, 9-1-1 dispatch center, detention services.
Other training and certifications: Master Peace Officer and Licensed Law Enforcement Instructor, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement; Expert Witness on domestic violence and family crimes, University of Texas; Caruth Police Institue (Executive Leadership), University of North Texas
Former Newport News Assistant Chief of Police Stacy Kelly
Law enforcement experience: 24 years
Education: Associate of Applied Science in Police Science at Thomas Nelson Community College in Virginia; Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at Saint Leo University in Virginia; Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice Education at University of Virginia.
Current jobs: Professional services manager at Axon, a law enforcement technology company in Arizona
Past jobs: Assistant Chief of Police in Newport News, Virginia; Assessor and team leader for Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies
Other training and certifications: Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy
Director of Office of Internal Audit at LSU Samuel Wyatt
Law enforcement experience: 17 years
Current job: Director of Investigations with the Louisiana State University Office of Internal Audit; adjunct professor at LSUS and California Baptist University.
Education: Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice, Bossier Parish Community College; Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice, Louisiana State University at Shreveport; Master of Business Administration, Centenary College of Louisiana; Doctorate in Human Resource Education, Louisiana State University.
Past jobs: Patrol Officer for Bossier City Police Department; Corrections deputy and emergency response team member with Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Other training and certifications: Certified internal audit practitioner, Institute of Internal Auditors; certified fraud examiner, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners; certified compliance and ethics professional, Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics.
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