ALEXANDRIA, LA, (KALB) - The city administration stands by its decision to eliminate the deputy chief position at the Alexandria Police Department, but it'll be up to a public hearing next month before an official decision will be made.
The purpose of Tuesday night's meeting was for the civil service board to vote on whether the city gave a sufficient explanation as to why they want the position eliminated.
The city, being represented by Joshua Dara Jr. and Public Safety Commissioner Daryl Terry, gave three reasons as to why the position is no longer necessary. They say the position has been vacant for quite some time, the city will not fund the position in the upcoming budget, and the duties of the position are "the same as an assistant chief."
Keep in mind that APD Chief Jerrod King submitted his pick for deputy chief back in September. It was not approved by Mayor Jeff Hall.
The city also indicated Tuesday that they would like the police department to focus on current vacancies. Once positions are filled, the administration will then consider reinstating the deputy chief position.
Civil Service Board Attorney Brian Cespiva says it would be ideal to keep the position vacant rather than eliminating it altogether.
"Optimally, we want to try to keep the position in the civil service system and that is something that arose tonight when the city indicated that it would be interested in later filling that position again once the positions in the patrol department were filled again. So, the best route I think would be to keep that position in the civil service system," said Cespiva.
Chief King also spoke during the meeting. He says as chief he'd like to have a deputy chief, adding that he may disagree with the administration, but they've talked about it, and King says it's time to move forward.
The deputy chief position has existed within the department since 2013.
The public hearing will be held on March 24 at 5 p.m. at the police department.
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