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Here's what you should know about the search for West Monroe Police Chief
By Ian Robinson, Monroe News-Star,
Four people have applied to be the next chief of the West Monroe Police Department, including the department's police captain CJ Beck and sergeant Willie Jones.
The City of West Monroe began taking applications in January to fill West Monroe Police Chief Jeff Terrell's position following his retirement this year. Terrell announced his retirement in December 2022 and plans to finish his Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) in June, leaving time open for Mayor Staci Mitchell to find his replacement.
Applicants had until Jan. 4 to put their names in the ring. The candidates also include Green Oaks Detention Center director Jason Pleasant and Louisiana State Police Lieutenant Chad Gremillion.
Candidates are required to take a written examination and must meet all requirements of the Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Law, including being a citizen of the United States. The four candidates took the test on March 9.
Candidates with a bachelor's or advanced degree in criminal justice, business administration or public administration, must have at least six years of experience in law enforcement and at least two years in an administrative or supervisory role.
Candidates with a high school diploma, high school equivalency certificate, high school transcript, affidavit from the issuing high school, associate's or bachelor's degree, or college transcript must show documentation that graduation has occurred or a degree was awarded. They must have at least 20 years of experience in law enforcement positions, at least five years in administration or supervision.
Law enforcement experience should include patrol operations, criminal investigations, police training, and department operations and management.
Major David May was named interim police chief on March 3 and will serve in the role until the new police chief is selected by Mitchell and the West Monroe Board of Aldermen. Major joined the department full-time in 1992 and has served as the department's uniform patrol major since 2013.
An advisory committee will aid Mitchell in selecting the new police chief. Members of the committee include the city's human resource manager Denise Calhoun, Mitchell's chief of staff Courtney Hornsby, West Monroe High School Principal Dan Lane, four representatives recommended by the Board of Aldermen, a representative from the Monroe Police Department and Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office, two representatives from the police department and one city business owner chosen by Mitchell based on recommendations.
The committee will meet at noon on March 16 in West Monroe Council Chambers to discuss what each would like to see in a police chief, Mitchell said.
"Interview questions will be finalized," Mitchell said. "Once interviews are complete and the scores have been received from the State Examiner's office, I will make a decision that will be ratified by the City Council members."
The new police chief should be named within 90 days of appointing Mays as interim chief.