MONROE, La (08/04/20) — On Friday, July 31st before the sun set on Mayor Friday Ellis’ second week in office, Monroe’s newest mayor named Eugene Ellis the new interim chief of the city’s police department. Mayor Ellis says change is necessary.
“We owe this to the city of Monroe and to the business community and our citizens… we have to get this right. Crime is one of our largest felt needs in this community and we need to ensure we’re making the right decision, we’re getting the right input, we’re asking all the right questions for us to make the very best decision of whoever it’s going to be.”
Mayor Ellis says that’s why he tapped former interim chief Eugene Ellis to help the force until a permanent replacement is appointed. He says Ellis is ready to serve.
“You could definitely tell the love for the department was still there, the love for the job was still there, the want and the need for the department to succeed was still there.”
In July, Mayor Ellis requested the postponement of the police chief exam; that request was denied. Mayor Ellis says his goal was to allow for a bigger pool of candidates.
“Did we do a super regional search? We just wanted to make sure everyone who wanted to apply under new leadership had the opportunity to do so.”
Mayor Ellis says this is a decision that will affect every citizen in Monroe and he wants to make sure they find the best talent to fill the role. In the meantime, he say he’s excited about the expertise and experience interim chief Ellis brings to the table.
“When service is in your blood, you know it’s something that you just step up and do and we’re just proud that he gave us the opportunity to step up and serve again.”Four candidates took the Monroe Police Chief test; they are former interim chief Reggie Brown, Charles Johnson, Thomas Rhodes and Kevin Strickland.
Mayor Ellis says they’re going to honor the civil service board and pick the best candidate based on test results. There’s no set date to name a replacement.