Sulphur City Council Approves Provisional Chief of Police
Last week we reported that Sulphur's Police Chief was demoted and suspended and last night the Mayor of Sulphur along with the City Council met and appointed a Provisional Police Chief.
Sulphur, La. —
At a special Sulphur City Council meeting Monday night, council members unanimously voted to appoint Earnest Mel Estess as Chief of Police for the City of Sulphur as a “Provisional Appointment” effective at 3:01 p.m., May 28, 2011. Estess is currently the Sulphur Police Department Professional Standards and Public Information Officer, a position he has held since July 2006.
The provisional appointment of Estess comes as a result of former Sulphur Chief of Police Chris Abrahams being suspended, with pay, for 15 calendar days effective May 13, 2011 for alleged violation of civil statute in regards to the filling of positions within the department. He has also been demoted to the rank of captain. Abrahams has the right to appeal within that 15 day period, which ends on May 28. No formal notification of an appeal has been received by the parties involved - Mayor Chris Duncan and the Sulphur Municipal Fire and Civil Service Board.
Council member Stuart Moss questioned the placement of a provisional Chief of Police when Assistant Chief of Police Billy Craddock was already Acting Chief.
“Billy Craddock right now is a move up, he is not a temporary appointment,” said Duncan. “Technically we do have a Chief on the payroll, and that is Mr. Abrahams. He’s out until the date of the 15 days. So in that time, Billy Craddock is a move up. When the Chief is on vacation or sick, Billy moves up as the Acting Chief. And that’s what is in place right now. But the provisional appointment is the actual temporary appointment to the Chief of Police’s position. We felt like we didn’t want to put anybody in that position who is actually going to take the test for Chief of Police. We feel like Billy is going to take the [Civil Service] exam for Chief, so that’s the reason we are asking for somebody neutral in that position.”
In reference to his appointment Estess commented, “I take it as an honor that you trust me enough, that the Mayor trusts me enough, to be of service to the community. I have requested, though, that administration hurry this up, don’t drag your feet, let’s get it done quick. I’m in hopes that the Council would appreciate me. I think I would do you a good job.” Duncan said the temporary position is for a period of 90 days and could be extended to 180 if necessary.
Do you live in Sulphur and if you do, what do you think of all of this???