The Louisiana State Capitol (Wesley Muller/Louisiana Illuminator)
State lawmakers who sit on the Capitol Security Council spent Thursday afternoon interviewing finalists for their first-ever police chief. It will be at least until early December before a candidate is chosen, and that pick will then be submitted to the full Louisiana Legislature for approval.
Before the council went into executive session to conduct the interviews, one of the four finalists chosen earlier this week pulled his name from contention. Stephen Louis, an assistant sergeant-at-arms for the Louisiana House of Representatives, notified council chair Sen. Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, that he would not move forward as a candidate for the chief’s job.
That left three finalists: Terry Alario Jr., a special agent/operations officer with the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office; Lt. Rodney Hyatt, who works in evidence control for State Police; and Frederick Thomas, a district commander for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office.
The security council agreed to meet again Dec. 6. There was no indication that a vote on a recommendation for chief would take place then. Cortez told members to submit any additional questions they might have for the finalists, who will be asked to attend the next meeting.
The new police department the chief will form will consist of some two dozen officers. Its jurisdiction covers the grounds of the State Capitol, including the Pentagon Apartments where lawmakers have housing. The Legislature has budgeted $2 million for the agency, including $135,000 in salary and benefits for its chief.
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