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Alexandria mayor expresses displeasure over approved budget, gives update on police chief hiring process

Says police chief may be selected by end of May
Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 5:55 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 6:11 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall gave his state of the community update at Alexandria International Airport, where he talked more about the recently approved budget and explained when a new police chief is expected to be hired.

At Tuesday’s city council meeting, Mayor Hall expressed his concerns with some of the amendments that the council made to the proposed budget. He once again reiterated that same displeasure at his community address on Thursday.

“Unfortunately the council didn’t approve the proposed budget and made some ill-advised amendments. We didn’t see an example of working together this week,” said Mayor Hall.

When saying this, the mayor was referring to numerous amendments that were passed that took money from other areas of the budget and were allocated to the police department. One of those amendments was to defund the city’s Public Safety Commissioner position and use the $113,183 as a new line item in the budget designated for recruiting for APD.

Mayor Hall said the plan was to give more funding to the police department but was waiting on the results from a pay study to come back to see how the salaries in Alexandria compare to surrounding areas.

“We are really behind in market pay we believe. Before we do anything, we certainly want to have scientific and mathematical support that supports those things that we want to do,” said Mayor Hall.

The City of Alexandria is also one step closer to naming the next police chief. All eight candidates for the position will be interviewed by a panel of community members who will then select their top three candidates. Those three will be interviewed by the mayor, who will then make his selection.

Mayor Hall says he hopes to select a police chief by the end of next month.

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