Mayor: Police chief out, search for new one underway

January 4, 2019

HAMMOND, La. (AP) — A Louisiana police chief is out and a search for a new one is underway.

Hammond Mayor Pete Panepinto tells news outlets he sat down with Police Chief James Stewart on Thursday to discuss “changes in the department due to our philosophical differences.” Panepinto says he had hoped for a smoother transition in leadership, but that Stewart chose to immediately leave his position.

Reached by phone Friday, Panepinto said Stewart was not fired. The police chief’s last day will be Friday.

Meeting minutes show that Stewart previously worked for the FBI and was appointed by the Hammond City Council in 2016.

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