Louisiana Press Journal

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The Buck Stops Here

Posted on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 4:00 pm

With the flood and the unexpected death of Louisiana Police Chief Rich Hughes last week, City Administrator Bob Jenne was spot on when he said it’s been a rough July already for the city.
The flood is being dealt with, thanks to some hard work in Louisiana and Clarksville, and both towns will recover.
But it will be awhile before area citizens psychologically get over Hughes’ sudden death.
It’s hard to understand why someone dies suddenly in the prime of their lives. It often strains a person’s faith in a higher being and that is understandable.
Although I didn’t know Chief Hughes very well personally, he was a likeable fellow and it seemed the citizens liked him.
Hughes could have gone on to other places for more money, but he didn’t. Apparently there was something about protecting this town that kept him here and we should all be grateful for the standard he set.
The turnover in the police department has been constant the past few years, with officers wanting to step up in pay at other places. Hughes took it upon himself to take on the shifts they left in order to keep the town covered and running smoothly.
I saw him patrolling the city at all hours and on several occasions I witnessed him handling tense police situations with aplomb and professionalism.
Hughes didn’t like talking about himself, at least not with the city’s editor, but he said quite a bit whenever I asked him about the work of his officers, of whom he was extremely proud.
I find it interesting that my last interview with Chief Hughes was about National Night Out on Aug. 5 and Neighborhood Watch.
Hughes was a strong believer in working with the community to deter crime and he wanted to get those two programs going stronger.
I can’t think of a better tribute to Chief Hughes than Louisiana citizens holding National Night Out block parties to propel his philosophy. What better way could there be to honor his legacy than showing up to one of those parties to further his work?
I’m asking the citizens of Louisiana to show their love and respect for Chief Hughes at those block parties. It’s the least we can do for a person who is already missed.
The city is in fine hands with the police force Hughes left behind. Now we can show them how appreciated he was and they are.