Covering Louisiana

Feb 6, 2013 6:15 PM by AP

Baton Rouge Mayor-President fires police chief

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Baton Rouge Police Chief Dewayne White has been fired after less than two years on the job.

East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Melvin "Kip" Holden's administration fired him on Wednesday, WBRZ-TV reported. White told the station he received a letter from the city's chief administrative officer, William Daniel, that there was a "substantial disagreement with the direction of the Baton Rouge Police Department."

A telephone call to the mayor's office for comment was not immediately returned.

WAFB-TV reported ( ) the dismissal comes after months of speculation that White's position was in jeopardy.

Homicides in Baton Rouge increased 4.4 percent in 2012 compared to the year before. However, officials have said they were pleased with progress made in the last four months of the year, when the city began to see a decrease in homicides compared to the same months in 2011. And, Holden had told reporters on multiple occasions recently that the chief's job was not in jeopardy.

White told reporters Wednesday that Daniel initially asked him to step down but when he refused, he said Daniel fired him.

"Give me some time, this is still unfolding," Daniel told reporters later Wednesday when asked about the firing.

Holden hired White on May 27, 2011. He was one of 52 candidates in a search that lasted nearly three months. It marked a return to the same department where he began his career.

When he first worked for the police department, he spent nearly seven years in Uniform Patrol, Traffic and Motorcycle Divisions. White later worked for Louisiana State Police for nearly 21 years, ultimately becoming Command Inspector of the Joint Emergency Services Training Complex, overseeing the Special Weapons and Tactics team, the Emergency Operations Center, training and Capital and physical security.

White said he did not know who the interim chief would be.

WAFB-TV later reported Sgt. Carl Dabadie Jr. would fill the post until Holden hires a new chief.

Dabadie, a 26-year veteran of the department, was most recently assigned to White's administrative staff. He is the son of the late Lt. Carl Dabadie, a veteran Baton Rouge Police Department motorcycle officer who was killed in the line of duty in 1984.


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