[Fox News] Louisiana city names interim police chief

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A southwest Louisiana city has a new leader of its police department following the resignation of its former chief.

Lafayette Parish Mayor-President Monique Boulet announced Tuesday that Capt. Paul Trouard will serve as the interim chief of the Lafayette Police Department during a national search to fill the permanent position, The Advocate reported.

Trouard, 50, has spent his entire 27-year law enforcement career at the Lafayette agency, where he was recently named assistant chief by former police chief Judith Estorge, who earlier this month resigned the position, citing personal reasons. Appointed in October 2022, Estorge was the city’s first female police chief. She will remain with the department.

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“It’s an honor,” Trouard said of the appointment. “It’s been a long road. I just hope to move the department forward.”

Trouard spent about four years working in patrol, then about six years training recruits and other officers for field work. He also worked as a detective of financial crimes before moving to the department’s violent crime and homicide division, where he became a supervising sergeant and administrator. He eventually became a captain and in April, he was named assistant police chief.

The city of Lafayette suffered its deadliest year on record in 2023, with the police department investigating a record 29 homicide cases.

When asked how he planned to address the rise in violent crime, Trouard said he would push for targeted enforcement, a tool he regularly used while overseeing a precinct in the northwest part of the city. He also said he planned to look at the department’s reporting system, talk to first-line officers and use data analytics to track what crimes are happening when and where to determine what resources to deploy.

“You just start hitting that area, trying to target the different areas, the different types of crimes to try to reduce the violent crime,” Trouard said. “And that’s been very effective, and I would like to ramp that up. I’d like to do more of it. Now granted, we’re subject to our budget. With that said, what’s more important? Dropping crime? Or my budget right now?”

In addition, Trouard said he will open up communication within the department and the community to better understand their needs and wants from the agency.

Meanwhile, a national search for a qualified candidate will begin within the next 30 days, Boulet said Tuesday.

Trouard said he plans to be among the candidates seeking the permanent post.

“I think it’d be easier for me to step into the role,” Trouard said. “I’m not saying that I’m going to be the best person. You never know what’s going to happen in the future, and I’ve told the administration if I’m not exactly what you want for this position, don’t take me. I will still work at whatever capacity you desire.”

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