- Associated Press - Sunday, March 30, 2014

ARNAUDVILLE, La. (AP) - A retired sheriff’s deputy and Arnaudville’s interim police chief are vying to complete the year as the city’s police chief.

The Daily World reported (https://bit.ly/1h08mMR) Eddy LeCompte faces interim Chief Kenneth “Toby” Wetzel in the April 5 special election to replace former Chief Richard Mizzi.

Mizzi retired in September 2013 in the face of a recall petition drive against him.

While in office, Mizzi frequently clashed with Arnaudville City Council members. Residents also claimed Mizzi often failed to respond to calls and even told officers to turn back from calls at times.

Mizzi’s assertions that he didn’t have the budget to run regular patrol routes clashed with the council’s allotment of more money to the police department.

He announced his retirement at about the time opponents submitted a recall petition.

LeCompte, whose family moved out of Arnaudville when he was 10, retired from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office last September and moved back to a home his family bought shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.

LeCompte said his other goals include bridging relationships with both the St. Landry Parish and St. Martin Parish sheriff’s offices because the town is part of both parishes, creating a “town watch” program similar to Neighborhood Watch programs in other cities and instituting a procedure for officers to conduct regular safety checks on the town’s large elderly population.

Wetzel, who was already an officer with the Arnaudville Police Department when appointed interim chief last October, said he has lived in Arnaudville almost his entire life. He said he had to hit the ground running.

“We’re trying to build up on what the last chief neglected,” he said.

Wetzel said he is focused on rebuilding the Police Department’s relationship with sheriff’s offices in the region.

Because this is a special election to fill a term, the Arnaudville police chief’s job will be up for election again this fall.


Information from: The Daily World, https://www.dailyworld.com

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