At least that’s what the Baton Rouge Business Report reported in its piece on Dwayne White’s firing.
“I know the unions have not been sitting on the sidelines idly watching,” says Councilman Joel Boé, who is leading an effort to form a committee that will study consolidating the police department and sheriff’s office. “We will never know the full story, but we have seen all the discord and unhappy people on both sides of the fence.”
While elected officials were guarded in their comments, several expressed disappointment that White, who is credited with tackling tough issues within the BRPD, will not have an opportunity to carry out reforms he began.
And a bit more…
Outspoken BRPD critic Lane Grigsby, who is helping to organize and fund the efforts to look at consolidating law enforcement agencies, was not guarded in his reaction and blames the police unions for White’s fate.
“The inmates are running the asylum,” Grigsby says. “This just adds to the multiple reasons for consolidating the police department with the sheriff’s office.”
Baton Rouge’s mayor-president Kip Holden has long been a big union guy. And White has had a problem with the unions from the start.
One suspects we’ll hear a lot more about this, and one also suspects that if it’s shown Holden did the unions’ bidding in getting rid of his police chief just when it started looking like the BRPD was capable of controlling the city’s crime problem after a decade of abject failure to do so, the effort to combine the BRPD and the sheriff’s department could gain steam.
The EBRSO is not unionized, which is why the idea of merging the police department into the sheriff’s office is popular with the business community in town.