Herman Curry pledged to build public confidence in the Ferriday Police Department after the town council unanimously appointed him police chief Tuesday night.
Ferriday Mayor Rydell Turner has pushed for Curry’s appointment since last November when former chief Margaret Lawrence retired, but the board did not approve Curry’s hiring until this week’s meeting.
He has served as interim police chief.
Alderman Elijah “Stepper” Banks moved to approve Curry as police chief. Alderwoman Gloria Lloyd seconded the motion, and Andre Keys and Gail Pryor voted yes. Brandi Bacon was absent.
“I want to thank you for this opportunity,” Curry told the board. “I promise to be diligent in my duties. As an interim, I was restricted in what I could do. But I can now implement my policies. The Ferriday Police Department is not functioning at the expectations of the citizens.
“I am going to work diligently to change that. I have strategic plans. We are going to restore respect from the citizens of Ferriday. We are going to have a high level of integrity. I’ve heard complaints that the citizens have lost confidence in the Ferriday Police Department because some of their complaints are not kept in a confidential matter.
“I am going to improve the quality of all officers. They will be certified and well-trained. They will attend academies, attend seminars held by other agencies and we will have an active in-house training program. If you pick up a phone and call the Ferriday Police Department, someone will respond in a professional manner.”
Lloyd said she didn’t have as much of a problem with police officers as with dispatchers.
“The whole department in its entirety including all dispatchers will be going through training,” Curry said.
The board also discussed its contract with Waste Pro, which expired this month.
The board has received countless complaints about Waste Pro.
Town Attorney Phillip Letard said he has received several requests from other sanitation companies and asked to give Waste Pro a 90-day extension to allow the town to receive other proposals.
“They will not stop picking up trash, even though they have not been doing what they are supposed to be doing,” Letard said.
Pryor asked Letard why a new company was not being sought late last year.
“I am a new attorney and I make mistakes,” Letard said. “I have been hesitant to do this until I was sure how to do it.”
Lloyd asked if the contract extension could be 60 days, but Town Clerk Sharon Kelly said it would take six weeks to properly advertise and receive Request for Proposals.
The town is now seeking Request for Proposals from companies interested in serving Ferriday.
The board also named commissioners for each department.
Pryor is over Town Hall, Banks is over the street department, Lloyd will oversee the police department, Keys is over the fire department and Bacon is over the sewer department.
The board approved occupational licenses for Khan Multi-Services and the new Dollar General Store.