Plaquemine appoints its 1st African American police chief

The Plaquemine Board of Selectmen made history with a vote Tuesday night.

The board voted unanimously to appoint Robert “Robbie” Johnson III as the city’s interim police chief at a special meeting. Johnson is Plaquemine’s first African American police chief.

Plaquemine’s former Police Chief Kenny Payne pleaded “no contest” to two counts of malfeasance in office on Nov. 28, and immediately retired from the police department.


Johnson has been with the Plaquemine Police Department since 1988 when he was hired as a patrol officer. He graduated from the LSU Law Enforcement Academy and was promoted over the years to detective, sergeant, supervisor, and assistant chief. After he retired in 2021, he returned to the force as an administrator.

He will serve as interim police chief until a new police chief is elected. The Board set the election for the chief’s position for March 25, 2023.

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