The effects of high turnover in a police department

Stewart served in law enforcement for 26 years and said with such turnover, it can start to affect morale within the department.

Posted: Oct 31, 2021 1:10 PM

Lafayette - With the turmoil that’s been happening within the Lafayette Police Department over the past few weeks, it's sure to have an effect on the department both internally and externally?

LPD hasn’t had a police chief last four years on the job since former chief Jim Craft served from 2007 to 2016. When you have such turnover in a department, it's will result in "a huge domino effect," said Chris Stewart, executive director for the Louisiana Law Enforcement Association.

It’s been a revolving door for LPD, which has had five police chiefs in the last five years. Stewart served in law enforcement for 26 years and said with such turnover, it can start to affect morale within the department.

"It kind of keeps the department in an upheaval all the time," he said. "It’s uncertainty and nobody likes uncertainty, especially at your job that you go into every day."

Taking a look at policy and potentially making changes is one of the most important aspects for a police chief, but in order for that to happen, they must first get acclimated with their department said Stewart.

"On average, probably at least six months to a year for a chief to settle down into the job," Stewart said.

With former Police Chief Thomas Glover being fired 10 months into his job and Interim Chief Wayne Griffin being placed on administrative leave 48 hours after taking over, fingers are now being pointed at the source, the Guillory administration.

Stewart said "it’s a direct reflection of the mayor because, in almost every municipality in the state, the mayor makes the decisions.

Those in the community haven’t shied away from demanding answers either. During a city council meeting, former NAACP president Marja Broussard told Guillory, ”we always believe that actions speak louder than words and...Mayor Guillory...your action in firing...Chief Glover is really the last straw.”

Stewart said the turnover of chiefs in recent years has an effect on the community and its relationship with the police. "When we keep continuing to have that break in continuity and changes and personalities and policies and everything else, it leaves the community kind of scratching their heads like what do we do now," he said.

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