The People's Tribune

Changes to Louisiana PD Drawing Concern

By Brice Chandler, Staff Writer

The City was already facing backlash after a decision to demote recent Sergeant Corey Anderson who recently ran for Pike County Sheriff.

Now, Louisiana’s Chief of Police, April Epperson, has officially turned in her resignation.

After the scheduled Sept. 28th regular meeting, the council went into closed session. The next day, Louisiana officer Josh Langley announced his resignation to take employment with another local police department.

Accordingly to Officer Langley, the decision to resign was made prior to Anderson’s demotion, however; the he may have resigned anyway due to the manner in which the city handled the situation.

Only a day after learning the city would lose one officer, residents discovered that Sergeant Anderson had been demoted, and the city had promoted Officer Will Jones to step into the position of second-in-command as a captain.

The move caused an uproar amongst Anderson’s supporters, friends, and family, many questioning the reasoning behind the move.

A group of around 15 citizens organized by Christie Burton held a peaceful protest and march from Louisiana City Hall to the North Ables at the Champ Clark Bridge. Initially, the group’s Facebook event page showed 53 planning to attend with another 75 possible.

According to Burton, they wanted to show support for Anderson and find out why he was demoted. Others wanted to know what exactly was going on with their police department from the city’s leadership.

Those questions have yet to be answered.

According to social media posts made by Anderson and family, they don’t know the reasoning behind the demotion. Anderson’s social media post along with his family’s created a buzz drawing hundreds of reactions and comments.

When asked for comments, due to policy Louisiana Mayor Marvin Brown could not discuss specifics about personnel issues. “I recommended a change in the Department’s second in command that I felt was in the best interest of the City and the majority of Council members agreed with me.”

During the closed session, six voted yes with Councilman Epperson voting no. Councilman Dolbeare was absent.

“I appreciate the support, but I wish they would show it in a more productive way,” Anderson told the Tribune prior to the protest. “I was proud to have those stripes but when people have a personal agenda, it shows.”

After taking the news of his demotion to Facebook, several people commented that they had called their representatives and the mayor’s office to voice their concerns.

But not everyone was eager to protest the decision. Other commenters wanted more information and the reasoning behind it.

“You should never protest blindly,” One commenter posted on the event’s Facebook page. “I’m all for Corey but would like to know the facts first…”

“What’s going on?” Another stated. “Maybe he needs his badge stripped? I can’t back a cause I know nothing about.”

Those questions will remain unanswered for the time being but have now only led to more.

On Thursday, Oct 8th, Chief Epperson tenured her resignation. Epperson has held the position of Chief of Police for six years as part of her 16-year career in law enforcement.

“It has been proven over the last 12 months that I don’t have the support or appreciation for all my dedication and hard work to keep the city police department operational during a very difficult dying time for the City of Louisiana,” Epperson wrote in her letter of resignation. “I hold true to my intergrity and dignity and will never jeopardize or sacrifice my ethics or morals when it is not the right thing to do to only gain an advantage in my career over another person.”

Epperson went on to thank the citizens of the community along with her team members and family in the notice.

“I am truly saddened to be leaving and more shocked at how I have been treated but with no support from the administration or council,” Epperson answered when asked about her decision to resign. “After being stripped of most of my duties and authorities in the police department, it just wasn’t worth the fight anymore.”

Before Chief Epperson’s resignation, the department had brought up one of their part-time officers to fill Officer Langley’s position.

It is expected that newly appointed Capt. Jones will assume the duties of Chief of Police until another is hired.

The City’s administration has not provided any additional comments to The People’s Tribune. We will continue investigate the situation and report as more information becomes available.

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