No new LaFayette police chief, council votes down recommendation for interim chief

Published 11:58 am Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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The wait for the new LaFayette police chief continues. The LaFayette City Council voted against the recommendation for the new police chief, Captain Christopher Trice, from the three-person committee made up of retired police chiefs.

The committee was created by Council member Tammie Williams, chairman of the police committee, after getting it approved by the rest of the city council. Two police chiefs and one former police chief, Chief Danny Williams, Retired Chief Tommy Weldon and Chief Robert Head, were chosen to conduct interviews. 

The three-person committee chose Trice, who has been serving as interim police chief since former Police Chief George Rampey retired in March, as their recommendation. 

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During the vote, Council members Terry Mangram, Michael Ellis and Toney Thomas voted down the recommendation. Both Mangram and Ellis are on the city’s police committee, and due to the three-person committee made by Williams, neither were involved in the interview process for the candidates.

Thomas said during the meeting that he didn’t feel comfortable voting without the rest of the committee being involved. He made a motion that the city reopen the position to applicants and restart the process with the full police committee and any council members who want to be involved.

Ellis, who has served on the city council for 12 years, said after the meeting that this was the first time that the council has ever conducted an interview process in this way. He said that as a member of law enforcement himself, he did not feel comfortable approving a recommendation for a candidate in which the police committee took no part. 

Williams, along with Council member David Ennis and Mayor Kenneth Vines, voted yes to the Trice recommendation. Without a four-person yes, City Attorney Mac Tucker reminded, the motion does not pass. 

From here, the city will reopen the position to applicants and restart the search for their new police chief.