Thibodaux Police Chief: ‘Trust me’
Editor’s Note: This article is an archived media piece posted in January 2011 when Chief Silverii first took office.
Newly appointed Thibodaux Police Chief Scott Silverii speaks to the department as a group for the first
By: Nate Monroe
Published: Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 11:01 a.m.
THIBODAUX — Thibodaux Police Chief Scott Silverii wanted to make sure his officers were ready to break with the past.
In the opening portion of a speech addressed to most of the department’s 51 sworn officers and a handful of other employees Wednesday afternoon, Silverii asked each department member to tear in half a sheet of white paper reading: “PAST.”
“I believe in symbolism,” he told the officers. “Tear it in half, or walk out the door.”
No one walked out.
Silverii, named chief last month, said his address was intended to inform each officer about his priorities and vision to move the department forward under his tenure, and he told the officers to expect some significant changes.
He told officers he has five main priorities for the department: group effort, responsiveness, efficiency, accountability and transparency, or G.R.E.A.T.
He reiterated some of the reforms he is looking to make in the department, including a new requirement that officers walk at least one hour while on patrol and that they establish strong community contacts in the neighborhoods they patrol.
“It’s not going to kill you to walk for an hour. It’s not punishment,” he said. “I want you to walk and meet people. I’m going to empower you to know your own neighborhoods.”
He told deputies the department will soon hire an external auditor to review parts of the department to identify inefficiencies, including overtime pay and ammunition distribution.
Paperwork that officers turn in, such as initial reports and arrest reports, will now be randomly spot-checked to ensure they the proper procedure is followed, he said.
“We have to be good stewards of the resources we have,” he said.
Data will be heavily gathered and analyzed, and Silverii said patrol routes will be determined by data that can identify crime “hot spots.”
“If you just ride around random patrol, you accomplish nothing,” he said. “Everything we do will be based on data.”
He also showed officers the department’s Facebook page, which he said will be actively updated with public information as well as short videos of the officers introducing themselves to the public.
Residents can find the page by logging on to Facebook and searching for “Thibodaux Police Department.”
He also gave a demonstration of an online service the department is testing that will track and map where crimes have occurred around the city. The public will have access to the crime maps.
Sidney Simmons, a patrolman, said he was encouraged. “We’re headed in the right direction,” he said.
Silverii closed by asking the officers to embrace his vision and to act as a team.
“There is a method to the madness,” he said. “I’m asking you to trust me.”