Former ULM officer speaks out - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Former ULM officer speaks out

Posted: Updated: Nov 7, 2013 04:44 PM

MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Our year-long investigation into the ULM police department continues.  For the first time, we heard from current department leader Steven Mahon.  Now, in an exclusive story that you'll only see here on KNOE.com, a former officer is speaking out.

Reggie Hawkins says he's concerned with the direction of the department.

Hawkins says some of the things Officer in Charge Mahon told us during our interview are not accurate.

Hawkins says things need to change, If University leaders hope to have a solid police force.

"If you don't conform to the click or whatever, if you aren't part of the buddy buddy system, then you are an outsider and they treat you as such," said Hawkins.

Hawkins spent five years protecting students at ULM and it's a position he says he enjoyed and was willing to endure almost any internal problems to hang on to.

"Whenever positions became available, instead of going through the civil service standard of having people apply for it they would appoint somebody, that would give them a years worth of tenure in that particular position before anybody could even apply for it, meanwhile before you could apply for it, they would try everything they could to run you off," said Hawkins.

Hawkins was there to see the inner workings of the departments former leadership meet it's end.  But it's the management move that was made next that Hawkins and other sources close to the department tell us, they were concerned by.

"I saw a definite change for the worst and in fact within a few months of Mahon being appointed interim, they passed around a petition for each officer to sign and every officer signed it standing there in the office, in grant's office, trying to get more ticket books, I refused in front of Mahon and grant to sign this petition and I had problems from then on," said Hawkins.

In our recent interview with Steven Mahon, he denies such claims.

"Was there a petition circulated that you wanted other officers to sign to endorse you as officer in charge or chief?" said KNOE Anchor Mark Boyle.

"No," said Mahon.

Additionally, Hawkins says the in-fighting at ULM is jeopardizing safety on campus.

You may remember in January of this year, a woman was abducted from campus, sexually assaulted and returned to campus.  With help from Monroe Police, in a joint effort with ULM, investigators caught 34-year-old Terresz Robinson in connection to that crime.

But Hawkins says, had the entire crime happened on campus , the outcome may have been much different.

"Had we handled it on our own? there was a bit of infighting, people were grandstanding, I think a lot of things would have gotten lost in the emotion if Monroe hadn't stepped in, I really do," said Hawkins.

Hawkins has moved on from the department and his five years there.

He hopes the university can turn the department around by hiring a seasoned Chief, but doubts the department will prosper under it's current leadership.

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