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Friday, June 6, 2008

Roberts Says Goodbye

By: Sid Riley

June 5, 2008

"I wish Hayes Baggett the best of luck and will do everything within my power to help him get settled in his new job".
By Sid Riley
These were the first words spoken by outgoing Marianna Police Chief Lou Roberts as I began my interview with him early Tuesday morning. "I will now be kicking my campaign into high gear in my effort to become the next Sheriff of Jackson County, since my duties in the Marianna Police Department are over", he continued.
Roberts admitted he felt a good bit of apprehension about suddenly being unemployed. "Sometimes we have to jump out of our ‘comfort zone’ if we are going to better ourselves", he quipped. Lou Roberts, Judge Glen Hess, and John McDaniel were the only three candidates who had to give up their existing jobs in order to run for a different post. Resigning a good job has to be a scary feeling.
I asked Roberts what he felt was the greatest improvement that he had brought to the Marianna Police Department while he was in charge of the unit. "The greatly enhanced level of cooperation, communication, and coordinated effort between our Police Department and all of the other law enforcement agencies in the entire area, including Alabama and Georgia has been the most significant improvement. In today’s highly mobile society, in order to be effective in law enforcement efforts a police unit can not remain territorial. I am proud of the relationships we have built with other agencies in the area during my work in Marianna.", he responded.
Lou also informed me of the fact he was initially told by election officials that in order to run for Sheriff he would first have to resign his Police Chief position. After he had put his resignation into place he was subsequently told that after researching the matter with Tallahassee election officials it was determined he did not have to resign to run. "I could have back tracked and first run for Police Chief and then a few weeks later entered the Sheriff race, and could have thus held the job while campaigning. However, I felt that approach was unfair to the citizens of Marianna, especially if I won the Sheriff’s job it would necessitate a special election which would cost over $2000.00. Thus, I did not withdraw my resignation and did not run in the Police Chief race."
"Marianna is the city where I live, and I certainly want the town to have the very best possible Police Department. I will continue to always give my full support to our new Chief of Police, Hayes Baggett", Roberts concluded.

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