My Statement on the Removal of Lafayette Chief of Police Thomas Glover
Chief Glover, I want to express on behalf of the citizens of Lafayette our gratitude for your exemplary ten months of loyal and dedicated service to our community. You were hired during a difficult time, approximately four months after the August 21, 2020 shooting of Trayford Pellerin, which escalated division and tension in this community. You were confronted and handled immense pressure from the African American community and was labeled an outsider. I commend you on the timely and professional manner in which you attended meetings and presented your action plan that was developed to advance twenty-first century policing in our city. Your participation and presence was evident in many neighborhoods as you displayed strength by developing partnerships with community organizations and groups. The billboards and television clips with you and our youth on the basketball courts exemplified the positive actions you implemented to address the negative culture that has led to the escalation of crime and violence. Even more evidence of your service was the last evening before your departure you joined with Councilman Naquin and Councilwoman Cook to discuss constituent issues with residents in their respective districts.
You have provided the local media with specific details and information relative to your ultimate departure as the Chief of Police in Lafayette. I acknowledge the civil service rules that mandate a twelve month working or probationary period for the position that you applied for and was hired by a community panel in late 2020. The silence from this administration attempts to stain or tarnish your thirty-six plus years of service in law enforcement. The lack of a response implies that you have violated the oath of office; that you have done something illegal or wrong. Your career has been without controversy and your integrity beyond approach which apparently led to you being selected as the third Chief of Police in the past two years for the City of Lafayette. This community and your family deserves a public response on your performance and should not be told by a media relations employee that this is a “personnel matter”. From all reports that I have reviewed, your tenure as Chief for ten months did not allow ample time to implement the goals and objectives you have shared with the community.
To our Lafayette Community, I simply state that we cannot remain silent and be in denial about law enforcement issues. There has to be accountability and transparency at every level and step of the process. The rules of respect and dignity have to be applied to all of the stakeholders. An action plan to combat crime and violence must be developed and communicated. The fact of the matter is since January 2020, we had a Chief that remained on board for twenty days, an interim Chief was appointed for 11 months and the third Chief was hired and dismissed after 10 months of service. Without stability in the Chief of Police’s office we will continue to witness the escalation of crime and violence while the appointing authority remain silent. The office of the Chief of Police should not be compromised by anyone at any time. It is not a political football, it is the office that ensures accountability and transparency of law enforcement in our community.
Chief Glover, thank you for your honorable service and professionalism. I recently read in one of the articles that you were told they “had your back”. This community will pray for you and your family as you move to the next chapter of your life. And Sir, God has your back!