BATON ROUGE, La. — A special review committee on Thursday interviewed five candidates for the Baton Rouge Police Department's next police chief. The interviews focused on police accountability, mental health, trust, and crime reduction.
Former Lafayette Chief Thomas Glover, BRPD Captain Michael McCarley, BRPD Lieutenant L'Jean McKneely, BRPD Commander Thomas Morse, and BRPD Captain Chris Polito all presented as candidates during the meeting.
On the issue of police accountability, Glover emphasized the need for intervention and reporting of misconduct. McCarley said it is essential to recognize that "it's okay not to be okay" and that he would try to reach out to struggling officers.
McKneely stressed the importance of winning the trust and loyalty of officers and the community. Morse proposed a controversial "bait car" program to deter car break-ins and thefts. Polito said that the department's most significant issue is taking care of its officers mentally and physically.
The committee also interviewed BRPD Sergeant Darren Ahmed, Alvin Davis, Varden Guillory, Retired BRPD Lieutenant Timothy Henderson, and BRPD Captain William Clarida on Wednesday, November 1. The committee still needs to set an interview date for the remaining candidates.
The selection of a new police chief comes when BRPD grapples with internal and external challenges. In recent years, the department has faced allegations of misconduct and excessive force. The department is also under investigation by the Louisiana State Police and the U.S. Department of Justice.
The review committee is expected to submit a list of finalists to Mayor Sharon Weston-Broome in the coming weeks. Broome will then decide who will become the next police chief of Baton Rouge.