Police Jury President Shane Smiley.JPG

The Ouachita Parish Police Jury agreed Monday to seek applications for the director position at Green Oaks Juvenile Detention Center in Monroe in light of the director’s resignation last week.

The Green Oaks facility on South Grand Street holds up to 60 juvenile offenders who also participate in juvenile rehabilitation programs. They appear in court there, too, in a juvenile courtroom on the detention center’s campus.

Parish officials confirmed that Kendrick Rochelle was no longer the director at Green Oaks.

“Due to it being a personnel matter, I cannot discuss it,” said Police Jury President Shane Smiley.

The Police Jury voted during its Aug. 3 meeting to appoint Jesse Williams as the detention center’s interim director until someone could be hired to fill the position permanently.

Assistant District Attorney Jay Mitchell, who serves as the Police Jury’s legal counsel, declined to elaborate on the reasons for Rochelle’s resignation, though he noted that Rochelle’s family had recently relocated to Texas.

Rochelle was hired in October 2018 in a lengthy search after the detention center’s former director, Lamar Anderson, resigned in June 2017 amid an investigation into whether he committed a sexual offense against a detention center employee.

On another front, Police Jury Vice President Jack Clampit revived his common lament that parish roadways in rural parts of Ouachita Parish continued to deteriorate quickly. Clampit referred to a recent study which showed rural roads made up seven percent of all roadways in the country but shouldered some 40 percent of all motor vehicle traffic.

“I know y’all know this is my favorite subject,” Clampit said. “The amount of weight on our rural roads is ridiculous.”

According to Clampit, some 46 percent of all traffic fatalities occurred on rural roads.

Clampit said the study estimated the damage caused by a truck carrying a heavy load amounted to the same level of damage done by 1,000 motor vehicles.

“We can’t keep up with these rural roads,” Clampit said.

In other business, the Police Jury recognized several parish employees for their years of service.

At the Ouachita Parish Fire Department, the following employees were honored for their 20 years of service: Kurt May, Kevin Mitchell, Rodney Remore and William Whetstone.

Ouachita Parish Mosquito Abatement District Director Shannon Rider was recognized for 15 years of service.

“As always, we appreciate the service of those individuals to the Police Jury and to our community,” Smiley said.

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