Veteran Baton Rouge police captain appointed new Alexandria police chief

Mayor Jacques Roy with Alexandria's new police chief, Roger Tully

By Bill Sumrall
The Light

A 29-year veteran of the Baton Rouge Police Department is the new chief of police in Alexandria as of Monday, Aug. 9.

Alexandria Mayor Jacques M. Roy on the recommendation of the Alexandria Police Chief Evaluation and Selection Committee appointed Roger Tully, 57.

“I’m excited to be here,” Tully told a crowd of area law enforcement officers, public officials and citizens gathered Monday in the Public Safety Complex’s community room, following a shift change at the police station.

Tully told the audience he’ll bring to the job as chief his experience and knowledge about law enforcement as well as personal involvement with the community.

Tully said he demonstrated that personal involvement by making his last arrest for the Baton Rouge Police Department on Thursday, Aug. 5, after he saw a man being chased for attempting to steal pillows and a blanket from a store.

“That’s why I wear a uniform, that’s why I’ve got lights on my car, because you don’t know what’s going to jump out in front of you,” Tully said.

“That’s the kind of work I believe in,” Tully said.

“I’ve never lost touch with the community, and my goal is for you, the community, and me, as the chief, to work together to build a safe Alexandria, where our children can grow up, where we can live and enjoy,” Tully said.

“I love Alexandria. I told the mayor I’ve been coming here for years. So it wasn’t hard for me to look at this. I’ve looked nowhere else, except for Baton Rouge,” Tully said, adding he tested unsuccessfully six years ago for Baton Rouge chief.

Tully was also recommended by Mayor Roy’s Personnel Committee, and scored the highest on the Police Chief Civil Service examination and “did extremely well” — among the top two or three — on the City’s “dynamic test,” Roy said.

“Roger’s appointment comes after an extensive process … it was very competitive,” Roy said.

The committee interviewed 10 candidates. “There was no weight given to insiders or outsiders, and Roger came out on top,” Roy said.

“Again, the competition was close. They (the committee) were very impressed with Tully but, again, I can assure you our home team did very well, very well.”

Corey Lair, who served as moderator for the Alexandria Police Chief Evaluation and Selection Committee, explained their role in the candidate selection process that led to their recommendation of Tully to the mayor.

A detailed history and time-line of the process, which was designed to keep politics out of the selection, will be publicly released next week, Lair said.

“The process to select the next Alexandria chief has been rigorous, deliberative and exhaustive,” Lair said.

“The evaluation selection committee voted to continue its oversight for one year. During that time, the committee reserves the right to recommend to the mayor dismissal of the chief and recommendation for hire of other applicants,” Lair said.

“It is important to remember that this fit must work and it is only after real-time evaluation that the community can know that we’ve got the right guy,” Lair said.

Tully said he’ll have an open-door policy as Alexandria’s police chief.

“My door is open. My phone is open. I answer questions. If I can’t fix it, I’ll find who can. There’s obviously a lot of talent in Alexandria PD (police department), there’s a lot of things going on here that are good, that are working, and we just need to let the community know,” Tully said.

More than 60 people attended the press conference portion of the event which followed the shift change, when the appointment was first announced to Alexandria police officers and area officials.

As an Assistant to Baton Rouge’s Chief Jeff LeDuff, Tully was Commander of the Uniform Patrol Bureau, directly supervising 10 captains and more than 400 officers, the mayor said.

In addition, Tully has served in various capacities that include Chief of Staff for Chief Jeff LeDuff, Instructor for the Baton Rouge Police Department and LSU Basic Academy and Commander’s School, Commander of Professional Standards, Criminal Records Commander, and Accreditation Commander, Roy said.

Tully was instrumental in electronically converting Baton Rouge Police Department records and helped Baton Rouge Police Department achieve its first-ever national accredited status, Roy said.

LeDuff attended the press conference in support of Tully, whom he introduced to the audience.

“You’re getting somebody who’s going to put their boots on the ground. If you are here from the community … you will see a uniformed chief. You will see a chief that is involved with his community,” LeDuff said.

LeDuff noted that Tully believes in community policing. “He has an institutional knowledge of rules and regulations that are second to none,” LeDuff said.

“He’s been a problem-solver for me,” added LeDuff, the Baton Rouge chief, about Tully, who served as his assistant.

“You’re getting a criminal justice professional,” LeDuff said, specifically addressing Alexandria police officers.

“We believe in the process, we believe in the people, we understand what the community members mean to our fight against crime, we understand what it is to be a team,” LeDuff said, who concluded his remarks by embracing Tully.

Mayor Roy detailed the process for the selection of the chief.

A police advisory panel charged with selecting the committee that evaluated candidates for recommendation to the mayor was “diverse as to rank, gender and race.”

“That’s important because of the city we have in Alexandria, not only with its demographics, but, key, it’s also important because the ICP (International Chiefs of Police) findings discussed those issues about diversity and how improvement should occur in the future, and all the things that are big changes that this department faces,” Roy said.

“I want you to see the protections that are there to remove politics,” Roy said.

In addition to diversity, technology, community policing and organizational change were cited by the ICP report, the mayor said, adding that Police Commissioner T.W. Thompson instituted organizational changes before his tenure expired.

“All in all, as you can see, this process did in fact remove the political parts of a selection and I think represents a best practice that we can be very proud of,” Roy said.

Roy cited the formation of a five-member police advisory panel who were elected by the rank of the Alexandria police force, Roy said.

Four police panel members were elected through the union and one member was elected at-large who was not a union member, Roy said, and did not come from him or his office. Lt. Ethel Queen chaired the police advisory panel.

The panel decided to give no preference whether the candidate was from inside or outside the Alexandria Police Department, Roy said.

The panel also considered whether the chief should live inside or outside the city limits and concluded the chief should live inside, Roy said, though that did not disqualify anyone who didn’t as time would be given for a candidate to relocate.

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