Three Questions were presented to each of the two candidates for Chief of Police. Here are their answers.
1. Citizens throughout the metropolitan New Orleans area, including Slidell, have become very concerned about the impact of crime on our quality of life. As Chief of Police, what actions will you take to lower the crime rate and improve safety?
Randy Fandal (I)
We will continue to be proactive and continue to send a strong message to criminals that if you come to Slidell to prey on our citizens we will catch you. With help from our community, we will maintain the safety and quality of life in Slidell. Since being elected Slidell Police Chief in 2016, overall violent crime has decreased by 33% and property crime has decreased by 45% in the city of Slidell. In 2021, overall crime was down 22%. In 2021, we received a COPS grant to hire 5 additional officers to increase our manpower on the streets so we can remain proactive and not reactive. Additionally, we received a grant from the Department of Justice to purchase body camaras for all of our police officers. We will continue to utilize technology and have the best trained, best equipped officers in the State to keep Slidell safe.
Proactive police work, a personal community relations program, and different training for the officers of the department.
2. Many communities have been experiencing problems recruiting and retaining police personnel. What is your plan to insure that the Slidell Police Department maintains sufficient personnel to fulfill its duties?
Randy Fandal (I)
In 2021, I implemented a new pay plan for the police department that took us from being one of the lowest paid agencies in the region to now one of the highest paid. The pay plan includes incentive pay for education and special assignments within the department such as SWAT and Honor Guard. The new pay plan has allowed us to be competitive with recruiting new officers and retaining the officers we have on the force. We have had several veteran police officers transfer from neighboring agencies to join the Slidell Police Department. The pay plan was accomplished by working with the City Administration and City Counsel without raising taxes.
Competitive pay, updated training/equipment, and adding officers to the reserve division
3. Crime prevention requires both vigorous enforcement of the laws and a criminal justice system that works with the police to ensure fair and timely convictions. This requires an effective working relationship between the Chief of Police, the Sheriff and the District Attorney. How do you plan to establish this effective partnership?
Randy Fandal (I)
I have over 40 years of law enforcement experience with 25 years of management and supervisory experience which has allowed me to build strong working relationships with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. I have successfully led the Slidell Police Department for the last 5 ½ years and have established good working relationships with both Sheriff Randy Smith and District Attorney Warren Montgomery. We all work together to keep Slidell and St. Tammany Parish safe.
Being employed by the sheriff’s office for approximately nineteen years and being familiar with the current administration will help the working relationship. The District Attorney’s office maintains a good relationship with all agencies. If elected I would attempt to maintain contact with all agencies to keep the good comradery.