Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Council hosts public input session today on new Police Chief

Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2019 | Views: 885

Council hosts public input session today on new Police Chief
The Hammond City Council will allow a public input session Monday on the eve of what is expected to be a Tuesday Council vote on the next Hammond Police Chief.

The council will hold a public hearing starting at 5:30 p.m. to “obtain public and council input, comment, evaluation, and discussion of the appointee of the Mayor for the position of chief of police.”

Mayor Pete Panepinto has previously said he would like to appoint longtime HPD veteran Edwin Bergeron for the post. Under the rules of the city charter, the mayor nominates an appointee, but the council must approve the nomination for Bergeron to assume the Chief’s post.

A council vote could come as early as Tuesday evening at the council’s regular meeting.

Under the rules advertised for this public hearing on Monday, speakers will be allotted no more than two minutes each to comment. An individual may not grant his or her time to other speakers, and all speakers must identify themselves by name and address for the public record. Comments will be limited to matters of public concern related to Bergeron’s appointment.

Council Chair Carlee White Gonzales will be responsible for maintaining order and keeping the process moving during the public participation portion of the meeting. Under the rules posted with Monday’s notice, the council chair “may interrupt or terminate any individual’s speaking privilege if the speaker’s comments are excessively loud, disruptive, obscene, engage in personal attacks, constitute generally disruptive behavior, and/or do not address the agenda topic.”

The notice includes language that “any individual or group (who) does not follow these procedures may be asked to leave the meeting.”

The meeting is designed to allow public input and “is not intended as a forum for extended conversation with the public or as a platform for council members to discuss their positions on issues raised in or outside of the scope of this public comment period.” Issues raised by the public during the meeting “will be noted.”

According the rules outlined in advance, Bergeron will have an opportunity to address the council at the conclusion of the public comment period.

The hearing will be held at the City Council Chambers, located at 312 E. Charles Street in downtown.