AP NEWS

Louisiana city police chief abruptly placed on leave

January 6, 2020 GMT

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) — The police chief of a Louisiana city has been abruptly placed on administrative leave for reasons that have not been made public.

Police Chief Jerrod King was placed on leave late Friday, news outlets report. City spokesman Jim Smilie declined to answer queries about King, saying it was a personnel matter.

On Dec. 31, King posted a long statement on his Facebook page praising police officers’ dedication and detailing the department’s struggles with issues such as staffing and budgeting in 2019.

“It has been my distinct honor and absolute privilege to serve as your Chief this past year,” the statement said. “None of us know what tomorrow may hold but I want to assure you that I am and will always be extremely grateful to each of you, the men and women of this department, and to your families for allowing me to serve as your Chief.”

The message ended with well wishes for 2020.

Mayor Jeffrey W. Hall named Assistant Chief of Police Farrell Gaspard as the interim chief, according to a city statement released Sunday.

News outlets weren’t immediately able to reach King or the Alexandria Police Officers Association.