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Ferriday police chief search ongoing

FERRIDAY — Ferriday town officials say they expect to have a new police chief in place by next month.

Mayor Gene Allen said three candidates of the seven who applied have been selected as finalists for the appointed police chief position.

Allen fired former police chief Richard Madison in April, citing a high number of unsolved burglaries as the reason to find a replacement. Allen said at the time nearly 16 burglary cases remained unsolved.

FPD investigator Derrick Freeman was appointed as interim police chief after Madison was fired and was one of the seven people who applied for the full-time position.

A search committee consisting of Town of Ferriday officials was appointed in April to narrow down the list of seven candidates and recommend a finalist to Allen.

The search committee consists of alderman Johnnie Brown, alderwoman Gloria Lloyd and town clerk Tamiko Hines.

As mayor, Allen doesn’t have to accept the committee’s recommendation.

Allen said the committee had submitted their recommendation to him and he was preparing to review the candidate before making a decision.

“I’m going to take some time to review their recommendation and make sure this is the best candidate,” Allen said. “We’re not going to rush this.”

Allen said he expects to announce the new police chief at the board’s July meeting.

Allen’s announcement could also be met with backlash from some board members.

Alderman Elijah “Stepper” Banks said he would introduce an ordinance in the coming months asking to change the police chief position from appointed to elected.

“I’m not in favor of any appointed police chief candidates, because I think the position should be elected,” Banks said. “I’m always going to get an opinion from the (Attorney General’s office), but we’re going to see what we can do.”