Residents disapprove as Bunkie City Council denies making officer full time

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BUNKIE, La. (KALB) - The Bunkie City Council made a decision at its monthly meeting on Thursday night; one that many would call controversial.

Source: KALB

With a three to two vote, it denied allowing Lieutenant Timothy Gilbert to become a full time officer. It was met with overwhelming disapproval from those in attendance.

Before any vote took place, Lt. Gilbert and Chief Scott Ferguson showed the crowd a slide show of all the drug busts made by Lt. Gilbert within the last three months.

They said that he's made more than 60 narcotic arrests and seized multiple weapons and paraphernalia as well; information that drew applause and thanks from the crowd.

However, when it came time to discuss making Lt. Gilbert full time, that's when the mood changed. The residents knew there were a few of councilors against the idea.

"You're going to sit up there and vote against a man who's trying to work full time to get drugs out of Bunkie," expressed one man.

"We've been crying for law enforcement for four years, and now we're crying because we have law enforcement," added another man.

Regardless of the outcries, three councilors, Travis Armand, Brenda Sampson, and Lem Thomas all voted against it.

During the meeting they told the crowd that they believe their decision was for the best. But legally they couldn't discuss personnel issues and declined an on-camera interview.

Chief Ferguson expressed his concern afterwards.

“I don't understand what their problem is with him, because when I was running for chief, the people's biggest problem was drugs,” he said. “I came in and I made promises to the people, and I’m trying to keep my promises. But it's like the people who are supposed to be helping us, are fighting against us."

Chief Ferguson also said he hopes Lt. Gilbert will stick around, and he plans on continuing the fight to make him full time.

Three other resolutions were also brought up in front of the council regarding the police department. The first one was to make Arlene Chambers an auxiliary dispatcher, the second was to remove Robin Oglesby from the department, and the last was to accept the resignation of Terry Breaux.

All three of those resolutions passed.

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