Meet the Candidates headed for Merryville Chief of Police runoff election

Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 10:02 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 20, 2022 at 3:23 PM CDT
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UPDATE: Tommy Robberson lost a 2006 election for Merryville aldermen by five votes.

In 2018, he lost the election for Merryville Chief of Police by 55 votes.

Robberson issued a statement, clarifying his remarks and apologizing to the people of Merryville.

“I am sorry for the confusion and I wanted to clarify the facts. Thank you for your attention on this matter.”

Merryville, LA (KPLC) - Only one ticket on the ballot in Merryville for the April 30 election, the runoff election for Chief of Police.

No candidate reached the threshold needed to win the race during the March 26 election. Randal Yawn received the most votes with 42 percent. Tommy Robberson followed with 32 percent. Eliminating incumbent Robert Thompson receiving 27 percent.

Now, two men with strong ties to Merryville are left vying to hold the Chief of Police position.

“I’m going to do…I’m going to work day and night on this. You know, this town is worth it. Just the history of this town. My great-great grand parents are from here. Yeah, we’re going to make it right,” Yawn said.

Yawn works as a contractor and a volunteer firefighter, he said he also has experience in working with the union.

Opponent Tommy Robberson also comes from a blue collar background, working as a business owner for his construction company.

“My life as a Merryvillian…I mean, knowing how the town use to be and what it is now, I want to do my part and anything I can do to help; I want to make it happen,” Robberson said.

Neither of the two candidates have law enforcement backgrounds, but are both ready to step up and make some changes.

“It’s going to be all about budget,” Yawn said. “Budget and training. Me especially. I got a lot of training to do because these guys that do this are trained, are professionals. And for me to be able to do the job effectively, I’m going to have to be trained, like I’ve never trained before.”

Yawn said only a couple of the policemen have been through the academy and he wants everyone on board to go through that training.

“The funding for the town,” Robberson said. “I would want to take a look at the budget and see what we could cut and make some changes there. I know these officers need equipment to work with. Not hand-me-downs, but try to type some grants to move forward and make it a better place to work.”

Robberson added that he also wants to tackle scheduling within the department, implement standard check ups on the elderly in the community and crack down on the amount of stray animals running lose.

Early voting continues for races in Merryville and throughout Southwest Louisiana. You can vote from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day through Saturday.

Election day is April 30th.

For a sample ballot and your early voting locations, click here.

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