Slaughter, LA - After Wednesday, June 28, the town of Slaughter is being protected by the East Feliciana Sheriff's Office, after most of the police officers walked out. Mutual aid is also being provided by the Clinton Police Department and the Jackson Police Department.
Police Chief Walter Smith turned in his resignation after the officers walked out, effective July 15.
The reason why: a recording of Mayor Robert Jackson's recent conversation with the Slaughter Police Department's assistant police chief. During the recording, which the Mayor was apparently unaware of, he said "You need some extra money, go pick up three or four people. You can write your own check. We get paid, and you get paid. You can't say it ain't fair."
This follows 'stories from the Investigative Unit' of Mayor Jackson's quota system, where he expected police officers to write 40 tickets a month. The officers refused to enforce it. Chief Smith said "The law precludes him from doing that. But, he was not up enough on that law to know that."
Chief Smith said that when his officers walked out, he had to leave, too. He said that it was 'pretty hard' to do his job when he didn't have many officers working for him. There are eight cruisers parked at the police department now, with no one to use them.
The final straw? What Chief Smith called the Mayor's "micromanagement" style of leadership, which made it difficult for him to do his job.
He said "Mayors like to run their towns. All of that, but when you have an elected chief, they are administrators. Every chief that's elected has issues. The mayor wants you to do one thing, but forgets the daily operations of the chief is his business."
According to Chief Smith, most likely the Mayor and the Council will appoint an interim chief, until an election can be held, and he said he will try to hire new officers for two positions before he leaves.
WBRZ talked to several residents of the town, but all refused to talk to him for fear of retaliation. They all agreed that the problem was the Mayor. So they reached out to the Mayor as he left his office, and he refused to talk to them, saying that he had a meeting in another town.
Chief Smith said "it was hard to say goodbye," as he had served for 13 years.