LAFAYETTE — Former Lafayette interim police chief Reggie Thomas will be sworn in as the new City Marshal next month. He defeated Duson Police Chief Kip Judice in the runoff election over the weekend.
Thomas replaces former City Marshal Brian Pope who was formally removed from office last month after a string of legal troubles.
Thomas' win is not only a change in leadership, but also historic. He will be the city's first black City Marshal elected into office. Also the first black person elected to a city-wide position.
"I grew up without a father and I know how important it is to have mentors. Being the first African-American, it actually shows other kids without fathers, or other African-American young men, what you can do. I want to use this platform and make a difference," Thomas said.
He hopes to bring a change in leadership to the City Marshal's office. He acknowledged he's walking into an office that's been faced with legal troubles under former city marshal Brian Pope.
"Trust is always something you have to rebuild," Thomas said. " In the Lafayette Police Department that was one of the things I was strongest at. It was making the citizens of Lafayette believe in the police department. You get trust by action. By actually doing things in the community. when I get to the city marshals office I'll do the same thing. Community walks, working with the community, things like that is what brings trust. Solving actual cases and one of the things I believe in is being respectful to people."
Thomas has three decades of experience in law enforcement, serving in the Lafayette Police Department. He served as interim chief and deputy chief before retiring in June.
"Never stop believing in yourself," Thomas said. "You can do anything. You just have to try. I led 289 officers with the Lafayette Police Department so I'm ready to lead and that's what the agency needs."
Thomas says he's working on accreditation for the office. It would give the office an outline of policies and procedures to follow.
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