DERIDDER, La. (KPLC) - DeRidder has named a new Chief of Police.
Craig Richard will immediately assume duties as Chief of Police, Mayor Misty Clanton announced Wednesday.
Richard, a lieutenant at the department, has 26 years as a law enforcement officer. He began with the city in 1993 as a patrolman and over the years, has served in various capacities, including Range Officer, investigator for the Beauregard/DeRidder Narcotics Task Force, Training and Standards Officer, and Chief of Detectives. Presently, he is the Patrol Commander/Training and Standards Officer.
Richard served 13 years as the police department representative to the DeRidder Fire and Police Civil Service Board, helped coordinate the DeRidder Police Department Reserve Police Officer Program, served on the joint Beauregard/DeRidder SWAT unit, and has received a multitude of specialty training through FBI-LEEDA courses.
Prior to becoming a city officer, Richard worked in emergency medical services and as a firefighter. He attended Lamar Salter Vocational-Technical School and SOWELA Regional Technical College.
Clanton said the hiring process included both testing and interviews. She said a panel was appointed to assist in the process, which took several weeks.
“This process has been another fine example of our community and the exceptional people that we have," Clanton said. “The candidates for police chief were all highly qualified. Most importantly, they are all respectable individuals that have shaped our local law enforcement community into what it is today. I commend them all.”
Richard replaces former DeRidder Police Chief John Gott, who retired in 2018. Gott had served as chief since 2009. Chris Rudy served as the interim Chief of Police.