DUSON, La. (AP) - The Duson Board of Aldermen has voted to appoint longtime Lafayette Parish sheriff’s deputy Kip Judice as chief of the town’s police force.
The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1AEmExR ) Tuesday’s appointment comes after at least 15 years of bad history with the town’s chiefs of police, culminating most recently with the July firing of former Chief Frank Andrew amid allegations he was gambling while on duty.
Mayor Johnny Thibodeaux says among the issues Judice, 49, will inherit are a backlog of felony arrest reports that were never submitted to the district attorney’s office and an evidence room filled with unlabeled guns, drugs and empty cash bags.
“We’re not gonna put up with that,” Thibodeaux said.
The town began taking applications for the position last summer, but Thibodeaux postponed making a hire until after the board of aldermen took office in January.
Fifteen applications were submitted by February - four of which were under serious consideration - and the appointment was scheduled for the town’s meeting that month. But Thibodeaux postponed the process again because more candidates wanted to apply, he said.
Judice, who’s worked at the Sheriff’s Office for 29 years, was the only new person to submit an application. He lost the December runoff for Lafayette city marshal against longtime deputy marshal Brian Pope.
Interim Chief Joe Caillet, who worked as chief since Andrew’s firing and has worked for Duson police since 2010, was among the top candidates after he lost the December runoff in Rayne’s police chief election, Thibodeaux said.
Judice said he’ll meet with Caillet to evaluate the department before he takes office in April.
Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com
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