What we had hoped would never happen did on Sunday, July 17th. The money you have put into the Central Police Department to prepare it for a day like today was a good thing.
Because we had the proper equipment and officers in place, we were ready to protect our city and our people.
I had two officers, who were working paid security for our local churches, leave their paid jobs and start protecting the city as this event was occurring.
Assistant Chief Steve Wallis contacted me about what was happening, and we called all officers into the station to form a plan.
Every officer of this department, except one who was out of state, left their families and went into service as Central Police Officers. Most had worked the night before at the City of Central Birthday Bash event.
Then, I contacted the Mayor and each one of you. I let you know what was taking place. It was hard to call Councilman Ellis, knowing that we had EBRSO Deputies down at the scene. I did not know if his brother was at the location at that time. But I did tell him I would come get him myself if I found that his brother was at the scene.
For the next 8 hours, your Central Police Department was the only Law Enforcement in the city.
We were able to put 5 two-man units on the street as well as myself and Assistant Chief Wallis.
Retired Deputy Chief Gene Cobb was already at the CPD office when I arrived. Gene Cobb informed me that he was manning the office. Constable Gordon Hutchinson arrived and paired up with one of our officers. I met with the Fire Chief to set up a radio, so CPD could go with them on calls to ensure their safety.
An EBRSO Deputy, who lives south of the parish, came into the parish, called Dispatch and asked where he needed to go. The EBRSO Dispatch advised him to go to South Dispatch to help with calls, and that the City of Central Police Department was in control of Central. As the Central Chief of Police, I was so proud of the CPD.
These officers put in 16 hours that day to ensure that we had a safe city in Central. They volunteered to cover Central last Saturday to allow the EBRSO Deputies to attend the funeral of Deputy Garafola.
Also, our officers were sworn in as EBR Deputies to allow coverage for Pride so they could attend.
Our officers once again took over the protection of Central.
On Thursday, myself and Motor Officer Chad Dupuy were asked by EBRSO Motorcycle Division to help escort Deputy Bruce Simmons home from the hospital to Central.
Deputy Simmons is a Motor Officer for EBRSO and was shot in the arm causing major damage to his left elbow.
EBRSO Motorcycle Division also asked myself and Officer Dupuy to ride with them to escort BRPD Officer Gerald's funeral procession.
On Saturday, the Central Police Department was asked to escort the horses and hearse to EBRSO Deputy Garafola's funeral. We were also asked to escort the honor flag from the airport to Deputy Garafola's funeral. The flag had been flown from Kansas for an Officer's funeral. This was a huge honor for myself and Officer Dupuy, for Central Motorcycle Division to be asked. Officer Dupuy and I also attended BRPD Officer Jackson's funeral.
We have the most dedicated police force in the state. Please thank them when you see them.
We live in one of the greatest cities in the United States and I am proud to say I am the Chief of
Police of a city that cares. Thank you to all the people and businesses that have come out to support the Central Police Department.