Crochet takes over Welsh police Jan. 1

By By Doris Maricle / American Press

WELSH — The wait is almost over for Marcus Crochet.

Crochet, 30, will assume duties as the new Welsh Police Department chief on Jan. 1 after unseating Police Chief Tommy Chaisson

in the Nov. 6 election.

“I am really looking forward to it,” Crochet said.

The first order of business will be “putting personnel in place where they best fit to get the peak performance out of them,”

he said.

He has already interviewed current

employees who reapplied for their positions and plans to maintain the

department’s 15 employees.

“We’re going to be a professional

staff,” he said. “We’re going to make it a habit that we stop and talk

to people and make

sure citizens know who the police officers are that are patrolling

the streets. I also want the police officers to know who

they are serving.” Crochet said he also plans to be “active

and visible” in the community.

“Through the community policing program we need to stop and talk to the people and get involved with our youth and our senior

citizens,” he said.

Among his goals, Crochet wants to implement a junior officer program for youth.He hopes to combine the program with the Welsh

Fire Department and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

“I’d like to see us have a summer

program to teach youth the ins and outs of what police officers do, then

have the fire department

follow up with fire safety and maybe the wildlife and fisheries

could teach them hunting education and boating safety because

we live in Sportsman’s Paradise,” he said.

As for Welsh’s controversial Traffic Enforcement Detail, Crochet said he would not implement the program again until “we get

the town in order and the department running.”

“Once everything is running smoothly and I feel we have caught up around town, then I will start letting the officers venture

out to the interstate and make a little extra income,” he said.

The biggest challenge facing the department will be a trust issue, Crochet said.

“Just because there is a change in administration, I think people will feel more easier giving information. But we have to

earn that trust,” he said.

Crochet also plans to actively continue the investigation into the town’s unsolved murders. In the last two years, there have

been three unsolved murders and numerous shootings in Welsh.

He has met with members of the State Police, Attorney General’s Office and FBI to discuss the cases and said he will continue

keeping the task force going until arrests are made in the cases.

Crochet has 10 years of law enforcement experience. He began his career at the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Department at the

age of 18.

“I was following my father’s footsteps,” he said.

His father began his law enforcement at the Lake Charles Police Department, later working for the City Marshal’s Office. He

currently works as a civil deputy for the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office.

“I’m glad I could live up to his

standards,” Crochet said.“I can remember when I was 5 or 6 years old

playing cops in the house,” he said. “As I got older I’d sneak the keys

to Dad’s

unit and sit there listening to the police radio until I killed

the battery. It (law enforcement) has just become second nature

to me.”

His uncle was also a former state trooper for Troop D.

Crochet joined the police academy three months after graduating from Barbe High School in Lake Charles.

“I never thought I’d be a police chief for any department, but I knew I wanted to be a police officer and I pursued it at

a young age,” he said.

Until he officially takes over as police chief, Crochet will divide his time between his job at the Jefferson Davis Parish

Sheriff’s Office and his family, which includes a newborn daughter.