BPD hires 2 new cops

Published 8:45 am Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Bogalusa Police Department was recently able to hire two new police officers, thanks to a $221,000 grant the city of Bogalusa recently received from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services Office.

The second of those two officers was hired Monday.

“The $220,847 grant is for three years and included salaries and benefits for the two officers,” Bogalusa Police Chief Joe Culpepper said. “The first policeman hired was approximately two weeks ago.”

The grant went into effect on Oct. 1. Maj. Gene Crosby wrote the grant request for the city.

“This grant is really appreciated,” Culpepper said. “Major kudos go to Maj. Gene Crosby for getting us this grant. He’s very dedicated. If there is a grant to apply for anywhere, he’ll apply for it.”

Culpepper declined to identify the officers who were hired, citing their need for anonymity and the possibility they may be used as undercover officers.

He said one of the hired officers has prior service with the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office and isn’t required to attend the Training Academy at the Slidell Police Department. He said the other officer served in the military with the U.S. Army and was in Afghanistan at one point.

“I’m proud to have these two officers. It will be a great benefit to us as far as numbers are concerned,” Culpepper said.

The purpose of the grant is to help build trust, reduce violence and protect schools. Bogalusa and New Orleans were the only two cities in the Eastern District of Louisiana to receive the grant.

In September, Bogalusa Mayor Wendy Perrette said she was thrilled for the grant. The city applied for the grant for the last five years but was denied.

“This grant will alleviate some of the cost of employing two additional police officers,” Perrette said, after the grant was awarded. “Despite being denied this grant for the last five years, our determination and continuing to apply paid off.”

Culpepper said he doesn’t see any more hires on the horizon.

“We’ll hire more officers as we fill the positions that already exist,” Culpepper said. “We will replace officers as they resign or retire.”