LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Lake Charles City Council decides Nov. 21 whether to approve Shawn Caldwell, Mayor Nic Hunter’s choice for Lake Charles police chief.
The mayor interviewed the short list of three, selected by a committee, and recommended Deputy Chief Shawn Caldwell to the council.
Hunter says Caldwell has much to offer:
"I just really think that he's got some ideas for the future of this city and for the police department that are really going to be great for this community," said Hunter.
Hunter says he’ll let Caldwell reveal those ideas after the approval process, but says they think alike.
“He wants to be the guardian over this community both when bad things happen, and before they happen. And so, he realizes how important it is to establish relationships within the neighborhoods, how important it is to establish relationships with elected officials, with community leaders, with faith-based communities—because, if you wait until something bad happens to establish those relationships quickly and try to handle a situation that could be volatile, you’ve almost lost the battle already,” said Hunter.
Hunter says Caldwell did well during the interview.
“The way that he answered the questions, his demeanor, his spirit, his history with the department, his understanding of the department, his love for this community, and I just really think he's got some ideas for the future of this city and for the police department that are going to really be great for the community,” said Hunter.
Hunter says one issue Caldwell will face is the spike in juvenile crime of recent years.
“That’s an area where it’s not only catching the offender, but it’s also about mentorship and what are we doing to inspire young men and women to realize other paths in life rather than turning to a life of crime,” he said.
He says Caldwell will face challenges brought on by growth in the community as well.
“The potential for a rise in crime, certainly traffic; and with that does come more accidents,” said Hunter.
Hunter says Caldwell has accepted the position, contingent on approval by city council. It pays a minimum of $85,000.
Caldwell declined to appear on camera until after the city council vote, but he says it’s an honor to be the mayor’s recommendation.
In a statement, Caldwell said: