Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory named Thomas Glover Sr. as the new Chief of Police.
The announcement was made on Wednesday, December 23 at a press conference at Lafayette City-Parish Hall.
Glover will take over the role of chief of police on December 31.
During a press conference this morning, Glover talked about recruitment and retention of officers, community policing and "the murder of George Floyd on live TV."
"My objective is to, number one, make sure this city is safer. Safer for citizens, for businesses and for tourism. But in order to reduce that crime, we have to make sure as a police department build trust with our community. I believe in community policing... the best way to build trust is to treat the people you encounter with dignity," Glover said.
He said he's a proponent of "21st Century Policing."
"We cannot police today the way we did a year ago. There's been a tremendous change, and if you don't get with the change, then something drastic is going to happen to your city, to your department. So we will be practicing 21st Century Policing," he said.
There are six pillars of 21st Century Policing: Building Trust and Legitimacy; Policy and Oversight; Technology and Social Media; Community Policing and Crime Reduction; Training and Education and Officer Safety and Wellness.
Glover said he knows he may be labeled as an outsider, but said he's not. He is from Louisiana. However, he acknowledged that he does anticipate making decisions that some may not like.
"I will be reviewing the Lafayette Police Department from top to bottom, and there will be decisions some people won't agree with. I do hope you will understand the decisions I make. Some I may stroke with a feather, some may take a hammer, and some are going to take a wrecking ball. And those things that are going to take a wrecking ball, you're going to understand why. It's not something I take lightly, making decisions that affect people. It's going to be made in the best interest of the city, the citizens, the taxpayers. It will not be randomly made," he said. "I can't say this enough: I am going to identify isolate and eliminate anything that's a problem, whether it's a person, a practice or a process. That doesn't mean I'm coming in with a vindetta, it means I'm doing the job I was hired to do."
See the livestream below:
Glover comes to Lafayette after a long career with Dallas Police.
He retired as a Lieutenant Commander with the DPD, where he had worked since 1981. He has a BS in criminal justice from Grambling State University.
Over the last years of his service with DPD, Glover was well-known as president of Black Police Association Of Greater Dallas. He appeared on several national media programs and networks, including CNN and NPR, to talk about police brutality in 2016.
During an interview with PBS NewsHour in July 2016, he spoke about brutality and the difficulties that African-American police officers face.
"As an African-American police officer, every day that you serve, it's almost like you're serving two masters. And I hate to be so straightforward. Many people expect us from the blue side, and I mean law enforcement, to be quiet, to walk a tightrope, and to just be indifferent," he said. "On the other hand, in your community, you are expected to make a difference. I know in all my years, I have heard it, and now I have people calling me saying, Glover, we told you so. You see it? A guy got shot in the back running away from a police officer, and he never would have been in trouble had not someone covertly recorded it on a cell phone video.
"And all I can do is say, yes, you're right. We become adept at doing both of them very well. We do the police job extremely well, and we live in our community extremely well, but, sometimes, and oftentimes, when you talk to African-American police officers, it's one of the most grueling and taxing things that you can do as a human," he continued.
He was head of the association when it drafted proposed changes to the DPD; here's a story about that plan. Among the suggestions were a citizens police review board with subpoena power to investigate police conduct, extra diversity training for officers, and the creation of early warning systems that could identify cops who might pose a risk to the community.
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