Oct. 19, 2016 02:06 PM

LPD headquarters
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[Editor's Note: It seems there's more to this story about the selection of a new police chief for the city of Lafayette, including an apparent controversy over selection of someone to fill the newly created position of deputy police chief. Read more about that here.]

Mayor Joel Robideaux could begin conducting final interviews for Lafayette’s vacant police chief position as early as this week, according to information released Wednesday by City Hall.

The six candidates certified as qualified applicants by the Municipal Fire & Police Civil Service Board in September were interviewed Monday and Tuesday of this week by a committee comprising Lafayette’s current top criminal justice officials — District Attorney Keith Stutes, Sheriff Mark Garber and LPD interim Chief Reginald Thomas — in concert with the Robideaux administration, which earlier began conducting background- and reference checks on the applicants: Toby Aguillard of the Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Office; James Benoit with Louisiana State Police; Forrest Blanton and Vaughn Burris of the LPD; UL Police Chief Joey Sturm; and Sammy Wyatt, LSU Office of Internal Audit.

Stutes, Garber and Thomas are expected to advise Robideaux in choosing from the six candidates to conduct final interviews.

“As the three law enforcement officials that will work most closely with the new chief, I look to the D.A., sheriff and current interim chief for their unbiased and independent assessment of the candidates’ qualifications,” Robideaux says. “Given their history and respective roles in law enforcement, I value their professional opinions on this important matter.”