The Jeanerette Police Department is looking to hire amid a shortage of police officers.
Right now there are three police officers on staff and no shortage of applicants; they're just not the right ones.
During Monday night’s Board of Aldermen meeting in Jeanerette, Mayor Carol Bourgeois said recent applicants for the police department had "some sort of baggage." He now says the statement was a poor choice of words.
“They can be qualified on paper, but when you do your background checks there are various other things you’d like to know about that person," said Bourgeois.
Bourgeois says the city’s current budget can hire six officers, but adds recent applicants for the position were not the right fit.
“For instance, if you’ve got an applicant that worked in five different departments in the last three years, a bell or whistle should go off and you do your due diligence by examining and checking what may have taken place,” he explained.
Although Mayor Bourgeois takes recommendations from the police chief, the responsibility falls on him.
“In my HR role I want to make certain that that person will fit the mold that we need. We know a lot of things are happening in departments around the world so we have to be careful about the type of individual that we put on patrol in our community,” said Bourgeois.
We reached out to the police chief for an interview but have not received a response.
Mayor Bougenois says they’re still seeking qualified applicants to fill those positions within the police department.
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