Repairing a Tarnished Police Department - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Repairing a Tarnished Police Department

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LEESVILLE, La. – The mayor of Leesville Robert Rose says public officials are working hard to repair their reputation because of the damage former Police Chief Bobby Hickman caused. News Channel Five's Nolan Crane reports.

The people that we spoke with say every town and city has its problems, they say they're working to make sure they move beyond those problems, to regain the trust of their residents.

"The city of Leesville stepped up and said we have a problem with our police department, the federal authorities have told us this and the city handled it," says Mayor Robert Rose.

Mayor Robert Rose says Hickman's actions as the chief of police stained Leesville's leadership and changed how people in the community view public officials.

"The embarrassment that the community felt because here is our senior police official for the city even charged with these crimes," says Mayor Robert Rose.

Residents in the community say although mistakes might have been made in the past, they understand it's time to move forward.

"You know, your always going to have problems in every community and there is always going to be some negative, nothing is perfect and you have to work around that. But you have to have faith in your leadership to do a good job. I feel comfortable with the job that our mayor and our city council and all the people the public servants that represent us," says Barbara Stainback.

Barbara says she has seen the hard work the police department is doing, and she says she won't let one man's actions determine her views of the others.

"We're always going to have stumbling blocks that's just people, that's life but we always seen to overcome it, and I'm very proud to be a resident of Vernon parish and Leesville," says Barbara Stainback.

The mayor says the city of Leesville has moved on, and away from the Hickman scandal. Now, he says, Bobby Hickman's fate is in the hands of the court.

"He is under indictment from both the federal authorities and the state authorities for multiple crimes," says Mayor Robert Rose.

The current Chief of Police Greg Hill testified in Bobby Hickman's hearing today and was unavailable for comment. He took over last year, when Hickman was arrested.


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