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Police chief responds after allegations he hasn’t been seen in Baldwin

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Posted at 7:27 PM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-12 20:56:05-05

BALDWIN, La. — The Baldwin Police Chief has responded after allegations from the mayor that he hasn't seen him on the job in nine months.

Baldwin Mayor Abel Prejean told KATC on Thursday that he hasn't seen Baldwin Police Chief Harry Smith for at least nine months amid criticism of the Baldwin Police Department by the family of Quawan Charles who say they believe police ignored their initial cries for help.

Charles went missing from Baldwin on Oct. 30 and was later found dead near Loreauville on Nov. 3.

"He's the chief of police; it's unusual," said Prejean of Smith's apparent absence.

"During this last little interval with a young child that went missing and found dead, many people have called for him and he has not returned their calls," said Prejean. "You would think that when police chief would give direction and clarity and information to public during this time."

KATC also spoke with Smith on Thursday, who said that he has been around but has been working night shifts when the office is out.

Smith said he has been working more night shifts since a fire at the Baldwin Police Station caused damage in 2018.

"I've been around just not going during the day," said Smith. "I've been riding around during the night. Ever since the fire, I’ve just trying to get myself together."

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