With a new year approaching, is Baton Rouge any closer to a new police chief?

BATON ROUGE — At his retirement party on December 15, outgoing Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul addressed the elephant in the room — the guests may have been at his ‘official’ goodbye but he is not going anywhere just yet.

Despite announcing his plans to retire in July, Paul has extended his retirement for months as East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome makes her choice for who will lead Baton Rouge police next.

Broome has brushed past a December 5 deadline to name a new chief, and Paul is keeping the seat warm until a decision has been made.

The mayor-president has interviewed the five finalists vying for the job, but if she has a favorite, she’s not yet ready to make it public.

READ MORE: BRPD Chief Murphy Paul on progress, crime and his hope for his successor

The Police Chief Search Committee assigned with the chief search handed over their top five candidates to Broome in early November. Protocol says that if the mayor-president doesn’t make a decision, the entire search process would have to start over. Sources tell UWK that it’s unclear if the city is at that point considering the five finalists have all passed the assessment to become chief and received recommendations from the search committee.

It’s a daunting task with the next police chief taking charge of a department marred with scandal and lawsuits. The department’s problems and lack of public confidence were part of the questioning each of the 20 candidates who interviewed faced from the 10-person search committee.

Four current BRPD employees are among the five finalists, and two of the candidates, Myron Daniels and Sharon Douglas, have interviewed for the job before.

MORE: Inside the search for Baton Rouge’s next police chief: Meet the five finalists up for the job

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