Former LPD chief candidate explains why he withdrew application

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – After 39 years with the department, Lafayette police Chief Jim Craft retired from his position in January of this year.

Ten months later, the review board for the new police chief was down to six candidates; as of Monday, their down to five.

Sammy Wyatt, a 24-year law enforcement veteran, threw is hat in the ring for the police chief position.

After months of vetting, and making connections in the Hub City, Wyatt has withdrawn his application for chief because of what he says are unethical practices.

“The allegation was, first off, that the police chief had already been selected, on the backside, and also that number two, the new chief of police would be required to a point Mr. Thomas as the new deputy chief,” Wyatt told KLFY’s Dalfred Jones.

Wyatt explained he would not pick interim chief Reginald Thomas as deputy chief without reviewing all of the applicants for the newly created position.

“I can’t do that. I will not to do it. It’s an ethics violation, it’s an integrity issue, and it violates my principles and I can’t do it,” he said.

When Chief Thomas went before the civil service board backing a proposal to have the bachelor’s degree requirement removed and replaced for experience, Wyatt spoke in favor of keeping the requirement in place.

Wyatt said he has no issue Chief Thomas and believes Thomas has done a good job as interim chief.

“He’s reached out to the community, he’s done very well on establishing different boards, and establishing the different effects of reaching out to all sectors the community and trying to unite them,” he said.

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