By Bret H. McCormick • firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Jacques Roy introduced Tully, a 29-year veteran of the Baton Rouge Police Department, to APD officers and then to the public Monday evening.
Tully, who worked hand-in-hand with Baton Rouge Chief Jeff LeDuff and commanded more than 400 officers in Baton Rouge’s Uniform Patrol Division, said he was excited to be in Alexandria and would bring law enforcement experience and knowledge to his new job.
“I’ve never lost touch with the ground,” said Tully after relating a story about his final arrest in Baton Rouge, which occurred last week when he apprehended a shoplifter at a store where Tully happened to be shopping.
“I’ve never lost touch with the community. My goal is to work with the community to build a safe community where our children can grow up.”
Tully will replace former Alexandria Police Chief Daren Coutee, who retired in January after six years on the job. T.W. Thompson, the city’s director of public works, served in an interim capacity as commissioner of public safety for six months through July 29, and Assistant Chief James Hay has been running the department since, pending the hiring of a new chief.
LeDuff introduced “my buddy, my friend and my brother” to the audience at the city’s Public Safety Complex on Bolton Avenue and told Alexandria residents what they can expect from their new chief. They can expect, he said, to get to know him quickly and see him working in the community.
“You’re getting somebody who’s going to put their boots on the ground,” LeDuff said.
Roy said there were several qualified candidates — including several from within APD — for the job, and in a way, he wished he could pick the best parts of all of the candidates.
“But you have to select one person, and I think overall the city is going to be pleased with its choice,” Roy said.
Tully was the top choice of both the city’s chief evaluation and selection committee as well as the city’s personnel committee, which is made up of several of the top officials in Roy’s administration.
“This selection is truly unique because the committee’s first choice and personnel’s first choice was the same,” said Corey Lair, one of the selection committee members who served as the official spokesperson for the group.
Tully termed the selection process “arduous and fair,” and in the end, officials said, the best candidate was named to the position. Tully scored the highest of the 11 candidates on the state’s civil service test, and Roy said the new chief also did well in a “dynamic test” that was developed by city officials.
Lair, meanwhile, called the selection process “rigorous, deliberative and exhaustive,” and added that the evaluation and selection committee will continue to be involved in monitoring the chief over the next year.
“Only after real-time evaluation will the community know if we got the right guy, but right now, this is the guy we have,” Lair said.
Roy believes the committee picked the right candidate, and LeDuff thinks so, too. Tully, meanwhile, said he is ready to get started as the head of his own department.
He doesn’t expect a rough transition, as he sees some very similar things between his old home and his new home.
“Baton Rouge and Alexandria are a lot alike,” Tully said. “It will be a real easy transition.”
His first task, he said, will be bringing the department up to the standards of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which released a study in June 2009 that was critical of APD for some of its rules and procedures. Many of those practices already have been upgraded under Thompson’s
watch, Tully said, but there is still more to do.
But the new chief said APD officers shouldn’t expect any drastic changes early in Tully’s tenure.
“Nothing dramatic,” Tully said of the changes he intends to make. “Slow burn is the best way to put changes in place.”
Category: The New Chief