Change has been the only constant for the top job at the Lafayette Police Department. Just one day into his term, Mayor-President Josh Guillory pushed out Chief Toby Aguillard. Since then, four people have run the department as it navigated upheavals, including the Trayford Pellerin shooting and rising violent crime.
|Toby Aguillard||Permanent||Nov. 3, 2016 – Jan. 6, 2020||3 years (1 day under Guillory)|
|Scott Morgan||Interim||Jan. 7, 2020 – Dec. 31, 2020||12 months|
|Thomas Glover||Permanent||Jan. 1, 2021 – Oct. 7, 2021||10 months|
|Wayne Griffin||Interim||Oct. 8, 2021 – Oct. 21, 2021||2 weeks|
|Monte Potier||Acting||Oct. 22, 2021 – present||3 months|
Aguillard’s ouster raised questions of political interference that have hung over subsequent appointments and departures. Guillory’s first permanent appointment, Thomas Glover Sr., was booted in less than a year. Today, Maj. Monte Potier is acting chief. Here’s a timeline of news links that document how we got here; it will be adjusted and updated as new information becomes available.
Dec. 13, 2019
Chief Toby Aguillard blindsided by Josh Guillory’s threat to fire him The Acadiana Advocate
“He made it very clear this is simply about politics,” Aguillard said of Guillory, who has never held elected office. “I believe that’s why civil service exists. I intend to fight it.”
Jan. 6, 2020
“I did ask him to resign. He agreed to resign. He resigned in the afternoon today,” Guillory said. “That’s all I’m going to say on that for this right now.”
Jan. 9, 2020
“Part of my decision making process was a significant hit to the relationship between the police department and the sheriff’s department,” Guillory said during the first of his new weekly call-in radio shows on KPEL radio. “And it’s not the actual boots on ground, it’s not the patrol officers out there. That was a leadership issue. I have no problem with saying that.”
Feb. 12, 2020
Mayor-President Josh Guillory says he will start a nationwide search for a new police chief in the next 30 days and confirmed for the first time plans to eliminate Deputy Chief Reggie Thomas’s position.
July 8, 2020
“If they’re all internal then I don’t know how successful we were on the national search,” Guillory said. “But I can tell you Jamie put the ads out there nationally. But they’re busy too, and that’s something we’ve got to consider. You’ve got all these other municipalities going through the same thing we’re going through, some worse than us.”
Aug. 7, 2020
Guillory reopens search for new police chief, The Current
“We did search nationally, but we could do a better job,” Guillory acknowledged later at a press conference.
Aug. 21, 2020
Lafayette police shoot and kill Trayford Pellerin, The Advertiser
About 150 people blocked traffic on Evangeline Thruway, a main roadway into the city, chanting “Tray” to honor the victim as they locked arms.
Officers in riot gear, including shields and gas masks, later confronted the marchers and ordered them to clear the road.
Dec. 23, 2020
Guillory appoints Thomas Glover as new police chief, The Current
Thomas Glover, appointed Lafayette’s first Black police chief, introduced himself as an agent of change. The longtime police veteran takes up his new post in January. Mayor-President Josh Guillory announced his selection Wednesday, filling a position left vacant for nearly a year.
Jan. 1, 2021
Glover’s term begins.
Sept. 30, 2021
Gun violence continues to surge in 2021, The Current
Lafayette police responded to 76% more gun crimes in 2020 than 2019.
So far this year, police have responded to 219 violent crime incidents involving a firearm, with aggravated assault by far the most common. If trends hold, 2021 will outpace 2020, when police responded to an average of 25.6 gun crimes a month.
Oct. 7, 2021
No reason was cited for Glover’s termination, and Angelle said there would be no further comment because it is a personnel matter.
Oct. 8, 2021
“Well, it’s not really much I can say. I think it’s more appropriate just to recognize that it’s a personnel matter and we respect the process,” the mayor-president stated. “So any of those questions are more properly discussed with our HR, our legal department.”
“Chief Griffin’s very qualified. You know, he was vetted, he went through the process and, if you guys recall, a very lengthy process. Think about it, two national searches, OK, civil service test. He’s got all the requirements and credentials by law and all that good stuff. And then we, you know, we don’t want to make a rash decision.”
Oct. 19, 2021
Griffin presents to City Council; community activist Marja Broussard brings up allegation of sexual harassment.
“You know that he’s about to be brought up on some allegations of sexual harassment,” she said to Guillory.
Oct. 20, 2021
LCG calls NAACP president’s allegation a “rumor. … There has been no one who has come forward and accused the interim chief of harassing them,” spokesman Jamie Angelle says.
Oct. 21, 2021
“They were always concerned about how the mayor would look,” Glover says of Guillory’s inner circle. “So much was counter to law enforcement.”
“As of right now there’s no search scheduled, and we’re taking it day by day. I have all the confidence in the world in Chief Griffin,” Guillory stated on his weekly KPEL call-in show. “So far I’m seeing him do great things. … As of right now, look, he’s our chief of police. He’s my chief of police. [I’m] very proud of him and very proud of the police department.”
Nov. 2, 2021
According to public records requests obtained by News15, Glover says “not a single performance measure goal, or objective was ever given to the petitioner orally, in writing, or otherwise.”
Jan. 6, 2022
Interim Lafayette Police Chief Wayne Griffin, on administrative leave after a sexual harassment allegation, will not return to the chief role and instead a search will be launched to find a new permanent chief, Lafayette Consolidated Government announced Thursday.
Jan. 15, 2022
Lafayette homicides rose 47% in 2021, The Acadiana Advocate
The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office and Lafayette Police Department announced a joint task force focused on “disrupting” violent crime by removing stolen and illegally possessed weapons from the streets and focusing on known violent offenders, among other goals.
Jan. 23, 2022
Citing ‘the ongoing process related to the investigation and personnel involved,’ LCG attorneys refused to turn over the investigative file after The Current requested it in mid-January. Monte Potier remains in command of the department while a national search is underway. A new public records request for the letter firing Griffin is pending.
Feb. 1, 2022
The court action follows weeks of repeated refusals by LCG and its attorneys to turn over public records to the two media outlets.
Feb. 9, 2022
Glover’s appeal before the civil service board is scheduled to be heard. (Hearing gets postponed.)
March 9, 2022
LCG CAO Cydra Wingerter said she highlighted some areas of concern during a September performance meeting with Glover, including the need for better communication with higher-ups, improved unity of command in LPD and increased delegation, but she and Guillory didn’t lose full confidence in Glover’s leadership until concerns were brought forward about Glover’s handling of a complaint against a Lafayette Police Department captain.
April 27, 2022
He’s been pilloried in public about that,” attorney Gary McGoffin said, while also noting case law holding that a high-ranking public official like Griffin has a diminished expectation of privacy related to his employment. “There’s no victim. There’s no harassment,” he told the judge. (Judge deciding whether more information will be released.)