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Newly elected Ferriday Mayor Rydell Turner named his police chief this week, appointing Margaret Lawrence, who has served in the post before.

Turner also named Emerson Slain as chief administrative officer and Alex Promise as head of economic development.

Joe Sontoyo will continue as fire chief of Ferriday.

Lawrence said when Turner offered her the position, there was no hesitation in accepting the proposal.

"It's in my blood," Lawrence said. "This is a passion for me. There's a lot of work to do, but I really love helping people. I'm going to do my best. Whatever decision they make in the future I will abide by."

Lawrence was police chief for former Ferriday Mayor Gene Allen, and also served as interim chief in 2008.

Turner was sworn in on August 25. His father, Rev. R.B. Turner, gave the opening prayer.

"That was a one in a million thing," Turner said. "That was very special. And my mom has been sick, but for her to be able to make it was special as well."

Turner served as mayor of Clayton from 2008 to 2016.

"That helped me in dealing with people in Baton Rouge," Turner said. "I already have a lot of contacts around the state and that's a big plus."

Turner said he is making a concerted effort to clean up Ferriday, starting with downtown, Ferriday Hall and Haney's Big House. He also plans to reduce loitering.

"We've got people coming in and we want to make a good impression," Turner said. "Then we are going to extend to the neighborhoods. We're bringing a whole new mindset in as far as people making a good impression. In the long run everyone will understand these changes are all for the betterment of Ferriday."

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