Candidate profiles: Minden Chief of Police

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(This is the sixth in a series of articles profiling several local election candidates. We asked each candidate the same four questions.)

Minden Chief of Police

John Burns

Why did you want to run?

To better my community and myself through service.

Why should someone vote for you?

Because I have passion and experience, because I want to make the community the best that I can, and because I want to work on your behalf to protect you, help you, and respond when you need me.

What do you want voters to know about you?

I want them to know about my experience and credentials, my ideas for bettering the community, and how much I care about the people here; I want them to know that I believe that helping our young men and women when they are most impressionable and in need is paramount in making our community better.

What are your goals?

My goal is to see our youth become the positive force in this community that I know they can be; my goal is for the people here to have a police chief they trust in and know will help them; my goal is for Minden to always be improving.

Steve Cropper

Why did you want to run?

I chose to run for another term because we still have a lot of work to do, my goal is to make Minden Police Department one that is state of the art, a Police Department that our men and women are proud to work for and one that our Community believes in. I love my job and the community I represent, I look forward to going into the office every day, each day brings a new challenge.
I knew going into office that attempting to fill the shoes of the late Chief T.C. Bloxom would be a very huge task. I have lived in Webster Parish for over 40 years, Minden is my home and I truly enjoy helping others, as Chief of Police I am able to not only help people but protect and serve the Community with my law enforcement experience. I started my journey as Chief of Police on January 1, 2011, since that time we have extended the 8-hour shift to 12 hour shifts which not only puts more officers on the street but also gives the officers more time off with their families, hired part time dispatchers which got the supervisors off the Radio out of the office and on the road, applied for and received over 170,000.00 in grant funds, which helped to pay officers overtime and purchase a small amount of new equipment. We reached out to the general public and raised enough funds to purchase body cameras for our officers as well as our recent purchase of a new K-9 unit at NO cost to the City of Minden.

Why should someone vote for you?

Citizens of Minden should vote for me because I am not only a man of integrity but I am fair and I treat people with Respect, people make bad decisions sometimes that brings them to MPD, that doesn’t mean they are a bad person. For the past 8 years my door has always been open to any person in the Community and it will remain open for the next 4 years should I be re-elected. I hold my officers to a high standard consistently coaching them on how to lead by example, treat people with respect and dignity and to continue to build a strong bond with the officers and the citizens of Minden.

What do you want voters to know about you?

I had 13 years of Private Business Experience as a self employed business owner here in Minden, this gave me the financial experience to manage the 2.8 million Police Department budget. I have 31 years of law enforcement background, 23 years of my law enforcement career was with Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office where I started as a Correctional officer and retired with the rank of Major, over Criminal Investigations and for the last 8 years I have served as the City of Minden’s Chief of Police. My wife (Kathy) and I have 4 children and 12 grandchildren. I am a member of the First United Methodist Church in Minden, active member of the Lions Club and currently serving my 19th year on the Webster Parish Emergency 911 Board of Directors and served 11 years on the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security Emergency Preparedness .

What are your goals?

My number 1 goal is as its always been, to get the Minden Police officers the salary that not only they deserve but is competitive with neighboring Agencies of similar size. My second goal is to recover the 3 vacated Police Officer positions and the 2 patrol cars that I was required to give up to allow for 150.00 a month raise per officer. Getting these units and officers back would put more officers back on the streets to decrease the rise in theft and acts of crime. Third I want to continue to set a higher standard in Policing, MPD is a strong and diverse department, I want our current officers to have the desire to stay with the department for the longevity of their career and my goal is to see our agency become attractive to other officers with exceptional back grounds in law enforcement and training so they want to come work for Minden Police Department because of what our Agency and Minden has to offer.

Larry D. Morris Jr.

Why did you want to run?

I am running for Police Chief of Minden, Louisiana to bring my work experiences and community relationships to build a better connection with all of our citizens by lowering the rate of violent crimes, thefts and other infractions against the law which reduce our quality of living here in our great city.

Why should someone vote for you?

I feel that my work experience and community service has allowed me an opportunity to serve as Police Chief. I also feel the citizens of Minden should consider me for my knowledge of the community. Living in Minden for the past 38 years, I’m dedicated to lead and serve the community.

What do you want voters to know about you?

I want voters to know that if I am elected, they will have a Police Chief who will hold himself and all department employees accountable for their actions. I will be an active leader in the department and in the community by making Minden safe and keeping it safe for our children and our children’s children.

What are your goals?

My goals are to hire humble and professional officers who value our community; build relationships with citizens, community leaders and businesses through quarterly forums which will inform them of future changes in how the Minden Police Department polices as well as current operations. To help deter future crime and motivate our youth who show an interest in law enforcement, we will implement Minden Finest Program, a program for boys and girls from grades 7 through 12 introducing them to a career in law enforcement. And finally, we will work with the Mayor and City Council on more officer training and implementing incentive pay to increase officer fitness and encourage higher education within the ranks.

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