At the urging of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, Mandeville officials have agreed to an outside evaluation of the city’s Police Department.
The watchdog group will finance the evaluation, which will be conducted by a retired Louisiana State Police deputy superintendent.
The Mandeville Police Department has been at “the epicenter of controversies involving the executive and legislative branches of Mandeville city government,” Rafael Goyeneche, the Crime Commission’s president, wrote earlier this month to Mayor Eddie Price.
Goyeneche’s letter alluded to several well-publicized examples: a scandal involving a charitable fund controlled by Police Chief Tom Buell; the phone call Price made to the police station on behalf of a wealthy businessman accused of beating a woman at a Mandeville wine bar; City Councilman Jerry Coogan’s use of a city police car after Hurricane Katrina.
While rank-and-file police officers were not central players in most of those incidents, morale within the department has suffered, Goyeneche wrote.
Advice from an outside expert, on topics that could range from personnel procedures to suggested rules on communication between elected officials and police officers, would help the department rise above recent distractions and concentrate on policing the city, Goyeneche said.
Seems to be a growing problem with police depts around the country. Just look at the cops caught on tape abusing suspects, some necessary, some not so. Or the excessive force and shootings and on and on…..