Mayor Hall doesn’t show up to special meeting on APD; City Council President Davidson calls situation a “cover-up”
Davidson recommends City of Alexandria reach out to the Rapides Sheriff’s Office for help covering city’s nine zones
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - At a special meeting called Wednesday evening concerning staffing and policies at the Alexandria Police Department - the City Council was there, while Mayor Jeff Hall was not.
The meeting was called by City Council President Catherine Davidson, who started off by calling the situation surrounding APD and Mayor Hall not showing up “jaw dropping.”
In a response released ahead of the meeting, Mayor Hall shared that he took issue with the time set for the meeting - just over 24 hours after the meeting was called by Council President Davidson. The mayor said “reasonable notice” was needed before information on APD is shared.
That response was not enough for Davidson, who said she would take the meeting time to be “really honest and real” about what’s going on in Alexandria.
“The citizens of Alexandria are scared and they aren’t being told the truth,” said Davidson.
She started off with the over 40 vacancies at the Alexandria Police Department. Davidson claimed again that there is no way all nine of Alexandria’s zones are covered by an APD officer at all times - unlike what has been said by Chief Ronney Howard in the past.
“Our zones are not covered and a 17-year-old girl was shot in her own bed,” said Davidson - calling back to this past Sunday when a teen girl was hit and killed by a stray bullet in her home. Davidson shared at the meeting that the incident happened eight blocks from her home.
In a meeting with Chief Howard on Monday, Davidson shared that Howard showed her patrol sheets that had the zones each covered by an officer. Davidson insisted that this cannot be true, because she has been told otherwise by APD staff.
Less than a week ago, Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall’s administration issued members of the Alexandria Police Department a confidentiality policy initially attached to their pay stubs, which among other things, prohibits disclosure of APD information to family, friends, and even colleagues.
Davidson stated that the policy was “illegal” and called the situation surrounding APD staffing a “cover-up.”
Davidson then shared her plan to address public safety in Alexandria - getting assistance from the deputies at the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office to help cover the zones. She said that the money currently set aside for the more than forty police officer positions at APD could be used to pay RPSO for the services.
“This could be done tomorrow,” said Davidson.
Since Mayor Hall was absent for the meeting, Davidson shared that she will call for another special meeting on May 12.
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