LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Incoming Lake Charles Police Chief Shawn Caldwell has named Det. Sgt. Franklin Fondel and Det. Sgt. Michael Nicosia to serve as deputy chiefs.
Fondel is a 20-year veteran of the force and Nicosia is a 17-year veteran of the department.
“Sergeants Fondel and Nicosia are two decorated veterans of the Lake Charles Police Department," Caldwell said. "Their experience and proven leadership across a broad spectrum of divisions within the department are aspects that helped me make my decision. I thank all 11 of the highly qualified applicants. Sergeants Fondel and Nicosia understand and embrace the importance of positive relationships between police officers and community members and will prove to be a tremendous asset as they continue their work with the department in their new role.”
“Of those eleven applicants, these two guys have stood out from their recruiting. They both have recruiting experience, their involvement in the community, their involvement in SWAT, negotiations, detectives; all types of areas in law enforcement these guys come. And they come with medals and they are decorated throughout their career,” said Caldwell.
A graduate of Lake Charles-Boston High School and an Army veteran, Fondel served as an investigator for the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office before joining the Lake Charles Police Department in 1998. He is a graduate of the Calcasieu Parish Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy, Leadership Southwest Louisiana and is a recipient of the FBI-LEEDA Trilogy Award.
Fondel has served the department as a uniformed patrol officer, an administrative investigator, department spokesperson, recruitment officer, lead for dignitary protection, head of security for the Lake Charles Civic Center, a member of the Honor Guard, and most recently, a detective in the violent crimes division.
"We have new officers that get transferred into detectives and I want to share my experience with those new detectives. And I’ll work alongside the detectives that are in the division now,” said Fondel.
Nicosia is a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, who joined the department in 2001 after retiring from the United States Navy after 21 years of service. In addition to his 17 years of experience with the department, he also has 15 years of military law enforcement experience.
He is a graduate of the Calcasieu Parish Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy and holds numerous certifications in areas such as crisis intervention, crisis negotiation, narcotics, advanced SWAT and tactical operations, and gang response.
Nicosia has served the department as a patrol officer, property crimes investigator, hostage/crisis negotiator, Honor Guard supervisor, and most recently, an investigator overseeing compliance and registration of convicted sex offenders.
“We try to keep them employed. There is a lot to keeping them in compliance, their being employed, being in housing, not on the streets, and that we know where they’re at and I’ve got a good record at keeping them there,” said Nicosia.
Both men are enthusiastic about what they plan to bring to their position.
“Stability, leadership, integrity; we already have it. We just need to keep it going forward,” said Nicosia.
“I know a lot of people in the City of Lake Charles. I’ve made a lot of contacts throughout my career here at the Lake Charles City Police,” said Fondel.
Mayor Nic Hunter says he plans to approve the selections.
A third deputy chief will likely be named later because Deputy Chief Mark Kraus has said he plans to retire in January.