BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) — Port Allen City Council adopted an ordinance Wednesday night that will force all future hired police officers to reimburse the city on all funding spent to train and outfit them if they leave the department within two years. NBC 33's Jason Dumas caught up with the Port Allen's Chief of Police to find out why this rule was put in place.
From here on out, anyone seeking to become a Port Allen Police officer will have to commit to that position for two years if he or she doesn't want to owe the city up to 2,000 dollars. It is a policy that chief of police, Esdron Brown says was needed.
"We've been having some people coming and leaving within that timeframe after you've bought all that equipment for them. You lose a lot of money that way so it's a way to kind of save money. Plus other departments use it. Our fire department had it implemented years ago so it was a good system," he said.
And while this rule should be able to keep more officers in Port Allen for longer, Brown realizes the department has to play its part as well in retaining employees.
"A lot of times an officer leaves for pay reasons so we have to make sure we are paying them compatible with other departments and equipment, and training and other stuff to help keep these officers," said Brown.
After two cadet's finish there training with the academy, they will be the first officers instated under the new policy and the department will finally be back to a full staff of 16 officers.
"When I was hired we were really short. Actually five officers short. So this is the first time we've had this many officers on the road which is great for the public and our safety," he added.
The main goal is for all officers to be career-long employees of the city of Port Allen.
"Security is everything and the longer an officer stays in a particular place, he gets familiar with the public, he gets familiar with criminals, and it makes his job a lot easier,” he said.