Ferriday police get headlines

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 30, 2005

Ferriday &8212; It&8217;s been an interesting year for the town of Ferriday.

A mostly new town council took over in the winter, and with a new administration comes inevitable growing pains.

&8220;You always have some nicks and bruises,&8221; Mayor Gene Allen said. &8220;But we&8217;re growing, and we&8217;ll continue to grow.&8221;

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Many of the year&8217;s headlines have come from the police department, under the guidance of Chief of Police Robert Davis.

The department gained Ferriday notoriety for its high volume of speeding tickets and an incident in which an officer accidentally shot another while cleaning his gun.

And while neither may be anything to brag about, they have both had positive effects.

The town&8217;s new reputation as a speed trap may have helped speed up a Department of Transportation study that concluded the speed limit on E.E. Wallace Boulevard needed to be increased to 35 miles per hour. That has been good for the flow of traffic in town and has not led to a noticeable rise in accidents or pedestrian injuries. Even Davis, an opponent of the increase, said it &8220;hasn&8217;t been all bad.&8221;

And since the unfortunate shooting accident, Davis said an extra emphasis has been placed on safety training in the department.

The above instances along with a controversy over choosing wrecker services have led for some to call for the chief of police to be an elected position in time for 2008.

But all in all, Davis said he is proud of the job his department has done in 2005, especially in its handling of the sudden population increase due to the hurricanes.

&8220;Crime hasn&8217;t really increased because of the evacuees,&8221; he said. &8220;We are enforcing the law and we&8217;re going to continue to do that.&8221;