Alexandria City Council selects new president, addresses APD coverage

Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 10:30 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The newly elected members of the Alexandria City Council ended the year by attending their first council meeting and selecting a new president and vice president.

The council nominated and approved Councilman At-Large Jim Villard as the new president and District 5 Councilman Chuck Fowler as vice president. Villard replaced former Council President Jules Green and Fowler replaced former Council Vice President Joe Fuller.

Both Green and Fuller lost their seats back during the Nov. 3 election.

District 1 Councilman Reddex Washington and District 3 Councilwoman Cynthia Perry are the two newest faces on the council. Newly elected Councilman At-Large Lee Rubin is in his second stint on the council as he served from 2012 to 2016.

Villard spoke on what it meant to him to be selected as president and what he hopes this council can get accomplished.

“I’m just very appreciative. We have a great council this year with three new members, and we will be able to get a lot accomplished. First off, we have to get Johnny Downs done and we get working on that right away,” Villard said. “We are also tackling our trash problem and our police force is doing a fantastic job.”

KALB has been covering the limited staff APD has dealt with this year. The City of Alexandria told us that 38 officers have left the department this year, with 17 of them going to other agencies.

At the council meeting, Fowler spoke on the recent media coverage of APD.

“I think that we have wonderful media here. They report accurately and do what they are supposed to do. But they seem to dwell on the negative part of what’s happening in the police department. We all know that we have a shortage of people in the department but we don’t have a shortage of protection,” Fowler said. “We don’t have a shortage of the service that they provide. They’re out there every day. There has never ever been one zone that has not been protected because of a lack of personnel. These people are out there working every day hard to do the service for these people. And there is no lack from their perspective, mine or the administration for them to do.”

Back on Dec. 16, KALB did an interview with Mayor Hall, who said that the City of Alexandria has hired 24 officers this year.

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