After completing almost four years as Abbeville police chief, Bill Spearman isn't calling it quits.
He is asking voters for another term.
"Some people ask me why I want to run again. They think I'm crazy, but I really enjoy what I'm doing and I want to continue to do it and I think I have some very good answers for the city."
But he has some competition.
Three other men— Mike Hardy, Ronald Gaspard and Joseph Boneski—want to be Abbeville's Top Cop.
For Hardy and Gaspard, this election is personal for them.
"Last time I ran for Chief of Police, I had three young daughters. Now I have two young granddaughters and I'd like them to be able to grow up in Abbeville and it'd be safe", says Hardy.
"Because I want to do some changing in Abbeville because I don't want to see other families go through what I have gone through", says Gaspard.
Hardy's resume includes 12 years as Abbeville police chief. His term ended in 2002 but he says he still has very close ties to the department.
"They know the kind of chief I was. For 12 years I was chief of police and they know I'm a man my word."
Although guns being in the wrong hands tops the list of priorities for both Hardy and Spearman, Gaspard's personal experience with drugs makes it a priority on his platform.
"My daughter passed away from drug overdose and then I lost son from drugs probably 10 years now. So knowing about drugs and knowing what it does, there's an issue that we can do something about."
And to keep guns off the streets, Spearman hopes to revisit some items he didn't get to because of Covid— that includes youth initiatives like boxing programs.
"I was a DARE officer for the department for a lot for 15 years as the juvenile officer and school resource officer in the schools. So I know a lot about a lot about what they're going through."
Lt. Joseph "Joey" Boneski is the fourth candidate in the race. With 25 years of service in law enforcement, Boneski retired in 2015 but continued as a reserve officer until last year. With guns being a top priority, he believes more police presence could lessen the shootings in the area.
"My platform is proactive versus reactive. Reactive means that we're only able to respond in reaction to a complaint. My platform is to get more officers on the road or officers out there on patrol to where we're proactively finding the hotspots proactively. Getting rid of these hotspots before they explode into the shootings and the shots fired."
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