That’s what’s being reported by WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge. Mayor-president Sharon Weston Broome has made replacing Carl Dabadie as the police chief in the Capitol City a top priority since before she was elected, and now she’s finally getting that wish after trying to fire him, and failing thanks to the civil-service rules, earlier in the year.
WBRZ reports Dabadie turned in a resignation letter today, with the resignation effective today. They’re letting the rank-and-file cops know this morning.
At this writing Broome is in the middle of a press conference – which sounds a lot like a pep rally with her supporters providing an amen chorus – on her push for a local tax increase for road improvements – and asked for reaction she termed Dabadie’s departure as a retirement rather than a resignation.
Broome said she considered Dabadie an honorable man, and that she would have a further announcement on Dabadie and his replacement by the end of the day, including an interim police chief and thoughts as to what she would be looking for in a permanent replacement.
More as we get it.
UPDATE: No details yet on Dabadie’s retirement, but scanning social media there is an enormous amount of fear and concern over what’s going to happen now that he’s gone.
Here was an example…
“I wonder how many officers will leave BRPD? And I wonder if she’ll do as good a job filling this position as she did with the dude whose entire resume was a lie. SMH”
“Let’s hope his replacement is not just a minister and actually has experience in criminal justice.”
“Baton Rouge, if you thought crime was out of control it’s about to go third world country.”
“Can’t wait to see what SWB finds to replace him with. Anyone want to take bets on which race she will choose?”
And one more…
“It’s about to be New Orleans 2.0.”
UPDATE #2: Metro Council member Buddy Amoroso didn’t mince words in echoing the worries of many about Broome’s ability to replace Dabadie…
“I have some hard concerns about this mayor’s ability to be able to pick someone,” Amoroso said, “if you just look at the history of what she’s done with the (chief administrative officer) and right now we still only have an interim CAO.”
He said he has seen no indication that she’s been working to find a new police chief.
“I’m very nervous about that,” Amoroso said. “It’s a very important position that needs to be filled, and I hope she has been quietly gathering national resumes behind the scenes.”
Here’s a statement released by Dabadie upon his retirement this morning…
In his letter to Broome, Dabadie expressed that “I hoped that our relationship could have grown into a strong partnership as we have faced times this city has never seen,” before saying he thinks his retirement is the best thing for the city and himself. Dabadie has enough vacation time built up that he can ride that time out until Oct. 2, which is the official date of his retirement.
Broome appointed Lt. Johnny Dunnam as the new interim police chief – Dunnam’s most recent brush with fame consists of the fact that he was the police officer who arrested Gary Chambers when the latter made himself a nuisance at a Metro Council meeting in May. From Broome’s announcement of Dunnam’s appointment…
I have appointed Lt. Jonny Dunnam as interim chief. He is a veteran professional with almost 29 years of law enforcement expertise in police department policy and procedures.
Dunnam began his career in uniform patrol where he spent three years before moving to the criminal investigations division as a burglary detective. After spending eight years in criminal investigations, he began a 14-year stint in internal affairs as an investigator and supervisor. He has since spent the last three years as the department’s public information office commander.
Dunnam, a Baton Rouge native and graduate of Tara High School, is an alumnus of the FBI National Academy (Session 257). He holds a graduate certificate in criminal justice education from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration from the University of Phoenix.
The interim chief will not be applying for the permanent position. A national search for a permanent chief will commence after the application process is opened. We will work with Human Resources and Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service on the process to advertise and fill the position. The process will begin immediately.
UPDATE #3: WAFB reports Dabadie’s retirement has been in the works for two weeks and the retirement letter he sent in was actually dated on Thursday – which is interesting given that Broome, in her press conference today, said she hadn’t read it.
Very peculiar. Very peculiar indeed.
Here’s Dabadie’s retirement letter, by the way…