Minden police chief candidates respond to Q&A

City of Minden is fortunate to have two qualified candidates running for police chief.

Jared McIver was employed as a Webster Parish deputy from 1996-2001. From October 2001 until January 2022, he was employed as an Enforcement Agent with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division. He was assigned to Webster Parish and was also Federally Deputized. He is currently working as a part-time Minden Police officer.

Larry Morris was with Minden Police Department from 2004-2006 and Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office from  2007-2008. He was on the Ruston Police force from 2008-2015 and is now with the Ruston City Probation Department.

The Webster Parish Journal asked both of these candidates five questions concerning law enforcement in the City of Minden. Below are their answers in alphabetical order.

1. What are your plans to increase trust between the police force and the community?

McIver: Trust can only come from building better relationships. We as officers must  get back to the basics of getting in our neighborhoods and introducing ourselves now more than ever. If we as a police department want information for a crime that has been committed; a trust worthy relationship between police and the public can aid in solving more cases. We can’t have trust first, then a relationship. It must be a relationship first, then trust. 

Morris:  I am a lifelong resident of Minden and have built many valuable relationships among community members. I will reach out to all of our citizens in an attempt to build new relationships that will help us address community concerns and needs.

2. How will you address the rise of gang violence/shootings within our city?        

McIver: Combining our intelligence and training with our surrounding law enforcement  entities such as the Webster Sheriff’s department, State Police, and at times, Federal Authorities will be one tool used to combat gang violence. We can also work with community leaders, activists, and church officials to provide kids with resources and alternatives other than the life of crime. Utilizing surveillance and equipping officers with the tools needed to do their jobs. Taking a pro active approach to removing  weapons in the hands of gangs and criminals, while protecting, preserving, and encouraging the rights of law abiding citizens to possess firearms.

Morris: As Chief of Police I will create a culture of gun safety that will implement educational programs for our youth and young adults. These programs like  “Minden’s Finest” will explore the pathways from gun violence and violent crime to becoming productive citizens and a culture of peace. This type of program will also reduce firearm access to individuals who are at risk of harming others and themselves. I plan to work closely with area youth programs to provide alternative activities for all youth.

3. What does the ideal police force look like to you?

McIver: The ideal police force is one that other police departments are hearing about and inquiring as to our success. A department in which the officers are happy with their leadership, performance of their duties, and who the public respects and trusts. Working closely with our city council and Mayor’s office creating incentives to reach new officers, but at the same time, retain the officers we’ve hired. A department that is diversified in its hiring, training, and retention of personnel. A department that enforces all laws no matter how minuscule or extreme it may be perceived.  

Morris: The ideal police force includes professional men and women of every ethnicity who have the heart and mind of the community it serves.  Currently, to my knowledge, the Minden Police Department only have two minority full time officers on patrol, and none actively patrolling the city of Minden.

4. How do you plan to use your leadership/management skills to build up the morale of the police department?

McIver: Police officers do not go into the field of law enforcement to make money. They go into this field to make a difference. Managing officers is simply delegating duties to the rank and file to assist the efficiency and proficiency of how officers perform their day to day duties. It also aids in officer accountability for their duties. Appointing the very first Deputy Chief to assist with the duties of Police Chief. Encouragement for a job well done, training opportunities, new equipment, and offer take home units that will aid in morale.

Morris: Good morale in any organization is fostered by a leader who exemplifies good character and fairness to his/her department members. I will offer take home units to all Post Certified officers who live within the city limits after a year of service. I will work with the city council and mayor to offer incentive pay for employees who can pass a monthly fitness exam, and employees with an associate, bachelors or master’s degree.

5. How will you recruit more officers?

McIver: Having a couple officers delegated to recruit in our local high schools, colleges and surrounding parishes. By offering incentives such as take home units, Safety Traffic Enforcement Program overtime, and other business overtime opportunities. Unifying with our local Sheriff’s department in creating a Special Response team that officers can join through the process of tryouts. Maintaining a positive encouraging work environment that promotes professionalism and honor. 

Morris: Not only will I reach out to local citizens for qualified officers, I will also seek outside applicants from area colleges and universities to bring professional officers to the department. Minden is a great city to live, raise a family, and have a career.

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