White Castle Police Department runs out of money; leaves town in crisis
WHITE CASTLE, La. (WAFB) - White Castle Police Chief Harold Brooks says his department is out of money.
He claims it’s because the prior police chief overspent in the months just before he left office on the first of the year. In Brooks’ own words, he was “set up for failure”. But the White Castle Mayor, John Morris, says he’s not buying that. And says the spending under the new police chief is the real problem.
The budget gets renewed on October 1st of each year. The mayor says records show the new police chief has spent half of the entire year’s police budget in just his first four months in office.
“If we’re trying to run a surplus to make sure that it is right then we need everyone on board to make that happen. And when you have one running around like a vigilante with tax dollars, then you run into problems like this constantly,” said Mayor Morris.
The numbers provided by the mayor’s accounting office show between October and January, the former chief spent about $15,000 on salaries. But in the first four months of this year - under Chief Brooks, salaries including overtime jumped to nearly $46,000. The old chief spent about $3,000 on vehicle maintenance, compared to 9 times that much under Chief Brooks.
“They have to be better stewards of the money for the taxpayers and can’t hold anyone else accountable but yourself,” Morris added.
With the budget almost gone, the chief is now asking the mayor and the council for additional money to hold them over till the next budget comes in this October.
“Now we’re looking into the forecast and to keep this police department operational, we’re looking at putting up another $250,000 which would basically put them at $1 million for a small police department, that is unheard of,” Morris explained.
We asked the chief for an interview, but he declined. Mayor Morris says regardless of what happens, the people of White Castle will still have police protection one way or another.
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