Grizzaffi picks Crouch as chief

Morgan City Police Lt. Travis Crouch is now the Chief of Police of Morgan City.

Mayor Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi III informed Crouch at the end of last week on his decision, which is expected to be approved by the city council this week.

Six members of the Morgan City Police Department applied for the job. Grizzaffi said each, “were fantastic in what they had to offer the city.”

“However, I have done extensive research, took calls from citizens, fellow law enforcement officers, guys that are respected in the field, because even though the Mayor is the appointing authority, this was a community decision and we take that very seriously,” Grizzaffi said. “I’m looking for a management style, and we’re making our decision based on that. This is an administrative decision and I don’t know much about police work.

“And at this time, I feel that Lt. Crouch has presented this city with best opportunities that fit our needs.”

Crouch has 22 years of experience with the city.

“It is an honor and a privilege to have been chosen,” Crouch said. “But it is not about me, it’s about us – the city and my force. I am just one player in this. I have to have a good team behind me, or it won’t work, and I have a great team.”

Crouch said over the past year, he feels at times, there has been a low morale in the MCPD.

“But that will change with new leadership and fresh ideas. When these professionals come to work, they will know someone will have their back, and stand behind them,” he said.

The six applicants who applied for the job were Lt. James Blair, and Sgt Teddy Liner, who actually together with Crouch, made a preliminary cut two weeks ago in the chief of police search.

The other candidates were Asst. Morgan City Police Chief Glen Blanco, Capt Michael Banks and Capt Mike Marino.

“There are no losers in this race,” Grizzaffi said. “All six guys will still be employed with the City of Morgan City and we will be counting on them.”

Employment records show Blair first worked for the force in 1985, but left months after. He was rehired in 1992, and since then, has earned 21 years of experience.

Liner has 18 years of experience.

Blanco did not want to release his tenure with the department however Grizzaffi said he has 30 years with the force.

Banks has 30 years of experience. Marino has worked with the force for 25 years.

Nearly all of the employees of the Morgan City police department are classified as civil service. As such, after 20 years of employment they are allowed to retire with roughly 60 percent of their salary at age 50, 86 percent of their salary at 25 years, and all of their salary at 30 or more years.

Travis Crouch