Police Chief Ken Bates, with more than 20 years on the force, faces in the Nov. 6 primary election an ex-Marine who spent 15 years as a West Baton Rouge Parish deputy sheriff.
Both candidates say they want to make some positive changes in the Police Department.
Bates, a Republican, said he wants to work on re-establishing a sense of pride and integrity in the Police Department.
Bates, 50, has spent his entire law enforcement career as a member of the city Police Department.
“We’ve got a great group of guys, it’s just a matter of pulling them together in the right direction to serve the public better,” Bates said.
Challenger Esdron Brown, a 45-year-old Democrat, said he wants to restore community trust in the department so that residents would be more willing to work with police in combating crime.
Brown, following his military service, rose to the rank of corporal while serving with the Sheriff’s Office.
“I want to implement new training for the officers so they can better handle citizens and first-responder calls,” Brown said. “Law enforcement should be an example first, then the public will want to work with them.”
The City Council election is also on the Nov. 6 ballot.
District 1 incumbent Ray Helen Lawrence was re-elected without opposition.
Councilmen Ralph Bergeron, District 3, and Irvrie A. “Ivory” Johnson, District 4, chose not to seek re-election.
Two Democrats are contending for the councilman at large seat — incumbent R.J. Loupe and Clyde Robertson.
In District 2, incumbent Hugh “Hootie” Riviere faces Leon Goudeau. Both are independents.
The District 3 race features two Democrats, Reynard Douglas III and Gary L. Hubble.
Candidates running for election to the District 4 council seat are Gary “Shaq” Joseph and Brandon Brown, both Democrats, and Frederick James Everson, an independent.