NAACP hopes to start fresh with new chief

Photo provided by staff
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 5:46pm

Mayor-President Kip Holden is set to announce his pick for the newest chief of police on Wednesday morning.

Just hours before the decision is announced though, the NAACP met with acting chief Carl Dabadie to talk over some of their major concerns.

NAACP President Mike McClanahan is hoping the newest chief of police will help heal some of the issues they see between officers and the people they serve.

"We’re looking to build trust with them. It can't be a one day thing, a one week thing or a one month thing. It has to be a series of actions that they do that let us know that they can be trusted, and so the jury is still out," explained McClanahan.

"The biggest thing is the line of communication. You want to have your community trust you, because if your community don't trust you, they won't be able to trust you or tolerate you," said Byron Sharper, also with the NAACP.

NAACP members say they're still worried about race relations in the department, after hearing of racist comments made by a homicide detective on a murder scene. They say they want to know that that behavior won't be tolerated under the new regime.

"He can not only just tell me what he's going to do, the jury is still out. He must show. When the tough issues come up where someone says something idiotic, it will tell if he disciplines that person enough, such that no one else will want to do it again," said McClanahan.

"We have our eyes and ears open on things that we think are unjust that we're watching to make sure those things are correctly taken care of," added Sharper.

Despite the serious discussion McClanahan said he's hopeful a new chief will mean good things for the city of Baton Rouge.

"We’re looking forward to working with this chief of police, our community needs somebody with a strong backbone, good character that we can trust and that can help lead us forward and make it safer for us to live work and play," he said.

NBC33 contacted acting chief Carl Dabadie for comment about the meeting, he declined.


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