BR police chief scores nearly ready

The civil service exams taken last month by more than a dozen people vying to become Baton Rouge’s next police chief will be graded and forwarded this week to the Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board, the state examiner said Wednesday.

“I am happy to say that the reviewers on this particular examination did an excellent job of turning it around,” State Examiner Robert S. Lawrence said. “They actually put it on a fast track for us.”

Local officials had said they might not receive the exam scores until sometime in July. But Lawrence said the civil service board should have the scores in time for its regular meeting next week.

“The board will still have to meet before they become official,” he said. “We send the results in confidential envelopes with notification that they are to be opened at the meeting.”

After the board receives the scores, it will certify a list of eligible candidates who passed the test and forward those names to East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden, who will choose the city’s next police chief. The candidates are all veteran law enforcement officials, and most of them ascended the ranks of the Baton Rouge Police Department.

Holden has decided not to use an advisory committee to help him make his choice, a departure from previous police chief selections.

The police chief position opened in February after Holden fired former Police Chief Dewayne White. The mayor had accused White of violating a long list of departmental policies.

White accused the mayor of micromanaging the department.

Carl Dabadie has been serving as interim chief and is among the 15 candidates to succeed White.

Dabadie said this week he had been hoping the civil service board would receive the scores in time for its meeting next week.

“Everybody is antsy and ready for the scores to come in and let the mayor do whatever he’s going to do to pick and choose,” he said.