Final stretch of campaign trail for city marshal candidates

Posted at 9:01 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 22:04:09-05

LAFAYETTE — In less than two weeks, a new Lafayette city marshal will be elected.

The candidates in the runoff, Duson Police Chief Kip Judice and former Interim Lafayette Police Chief Reggie Thomas, spoke to the Kiwanis Club of Lafayette at the Petroleum Club on Tuesday.

Both candidates were given 10 minutes each to push their platforms one last time.

During Reggie Thomas's time at the Lafayette Police Department, he created a community relations committee, which is something he says he would bring back as city marshal.

"I would have a community resource officer, I call it," explained Thomas. "A community resource officer is somebody that goes into the community and talks about the agency, somebody that you can call when you're not sure of what's going on."

His opponent Kip Judice calls the past six years in the marshal's office a travesty and says that the new marshal needs to concentrate on what's most important.

"The task of the marshal is specific: carry out the orders of the city court judges, whether it's a warrant, a subpoena, an eviction, a garnishment," said Judice. "I think we need to do the best we can do at that."

Kiwanis Club members were then given the floor, and among the topics of conversation was former City Marshal Brian Pope.

The candidates were asked about the money Pope paid himself that was supposed to go to the office.

Audience members wondered where those funds would go under new leadership.

"Those dollars would go to training and to getting that agency accredited," said Thomas. "I think accreditation is so important because how can you move forward when you don't have anything written about how to move forward or the standards that you need?"

Judice responded, "We utilize that money for the programs we're talking about with community service, paying overtime to our officers to go out and watch these people pick up trash and that kind of stuff, so that we're not paying for incarceration costs."

Before the forum ended, both candidates made a final plea to voters.

Thomas says he knows this community and his commitment to the city is unchallenged.

Judice says he's ready for the position because he's already done marshal tasks as a current chief of police.

The runoff election is December 5.