Rayne police chief given more authority over ‘reserve detachment’

The Rayne Police Chief now has the same authority over the police reserve that he has over the police department.
In conjunction with legislative action earlier this year that gave the chief the power to hire, fire and discipline officers without city council approval, a number of city ordinances were amended this month to give him that same authority over the police reserve.
Prior to the legislation, Rayne’s Police Chief was required to bring recommendations regarding hiring, promotion and discipline of city police personnel to the city council for its action.
At the council’s behest, Rep. Jack Montoucet, D-Crowley, spearheaded legislation which authorizes the current and future police chiefs in Rayne to appoint, promote, discipline and discharge police personnel.
Five proposed amendments to city ordinances were adopted during the October meeting dealing directly with the police reserve.
A sixth proposed amendment deals with the hiring of city employees.
Regarding the police and reserve, the council adopted the following amendments:
• Ordinance No. 1092: Pertains to the termination from service.
“An employee, other than a department head or employee of the police department, dan be dismissed only after approval of the mayor. A department head can be dismissed only upon recommendation by the mayor and approval by the board of aldermen. An employee of the police department shall be appointed, disciplined and discharged by the chief of police subject to the budgetary limitations established by the mayor and board of aldermen pertaining to the number of allotted positions for the police department.” (Act 236 of the 2016 Regular Session)
• Ordinance No. 1093: Relative to the appointment of procedure.
“The following procedure shall be followed in the appointment of personnel to the reserve police:
1. All applications shall be in writing on a form to be furnished by the Rayne Police Department.
2. The Chief of Police shall make all appointments to the reserve police organization.
3. All initial appointments of personnel shall be for a probationary period of six months, subject to confirmation of or revocation of such probationary appointments thereafter.”
• Ordinance No. 1094: Relative to the determination of strength of detachment.
“The chief of police shall determine the strength of the reserve police detachment.”
• Ordinance No. 1095: Relative to promotion procedure.
“The chief of police shall make all promotions of personnel of the detachment in the following manner:
1. All promotions shall be made from the next lower rank and only upon need of additional personnel in the higher position.”
• Ordinance No. 1096: Relative to when members will serve and attire.
“Members of such detachment, when reporting for duty, shall be properly attired, which attire shall be clean, neat and in good repair. Such personnel shall act as police officers only when called to duty by the chief of police or in his absence or inability to act, the senior police officer on duty.”
The sixth proposed amendment adopted by the council at the Oct. 10 meeting deals with the filling of vacancies citywide.
Ordinance No. 1091 was amended to read: “Appointments shall be based on merit and fitness. However, if filling a position, an effort shall be made to promote qualified employees before seeking other applicants.”
Also during the October meeting, the council approved a request from the Rayne Lions Club to hold a street drive on Nov. 4 and 5 with money raised to benefit the Lions Club Louisiana Eye Foundation, Kids Camp and various local charitable organizations.
Also, on the recommendation of Tim Mader, city engineer, the council authorized Mayor Chuck Robichaux to submit an application on behalf of the city to the Office of Community Development’s Local Government Assistance Program.
Mader explained that the city is eligible to apply for up to $50,000 under this program and that any amount received will be used for Phase VIII of the city’s Sidewalks and Drainage Improvements program.

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