Feb 2, 2014 12:04 AM by Alex Labat
KATC has learned new information regarding the death of Morgan City Police Chief Travis Crouch. According to Biloxi police Sergeant Chris DeBack, the gunshot wound that killed the 46 year-old was self-inflicted. Crouch, who had been chief of the department only a year, was found in his Beau Rivage hotel room by Biloxi Police around 11:00 p.m. Friday evening. No foul play is suspected, and it is still not determined if the shooting was accidental. Both the police department and the mayor of Morgan City spoke at a press conference today about the man behind the badge.
"I am extremely proud of the individuals that make up this organization and I am privileged to serve as your police chief". Those are the words of Travis Crouch, a man who only served as Chief of Police for a year, but left a lasting impact on Morgan City. "The first thing Chief Crouch did taking office is he wanted to lead from out front. Not work from the office like an administrative chief, he wanted to be a working chief", says Mayor Frank Grizzaffi. In a KATC interview back in November of 2012, Crouch explained his willingness to work with the public, saying, "Because I want the people to know that I am just like them. I am reachable. Just because I wear a badge and I'm the chief of police, I am reachable you can talk to me I have no problem with that".
Described as a progressive leader, Crouch took to Facebook and social media to engage with his community, going so far as to post his personal cell phone number for residents to call. "He published his cell phone number on the internet. If he told you, "Call me any time day or night"...he meant it. It didn't matter when you called him and you needed something done, he was going to see that it was done", says Assistant Police Chief (now acting Police Chief) Michael Banks. While those that spoke today say they will soldier on in his memory, only time will heal the hearts of those who cared for an officer who served Morgan City for more than 20 years. "Morgan City has taken a big blow today. We'll recover over time but it's going to take a little time to get over this one", says Grizzaffi. When asked in that same interview about how he passes on his care of the community to his department, Crouch said, "I try to tell my guys, you take that extra five, ten minutes with that person on a complaint. Just because a little old lady calls in a complaint that somebody stole her plant off her front porch or her rocking chair, to her that's something serious".