Earlier this week, the Municipal Police Employees' Retirement System Board of Trustees held their monthly meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana in conjunction with the Louisiana Association of Public Employees Retirement Systems (LAPERS) annual seminar. One of the items on the agenda was to accept the nominations for the Chief District 1 Board of Trustee position. This position was previously held by Monroe Police Chief Ron Schleuter who retired earlier this year. Schleuter was elected to the position after former Bossier City Police Chief Mike Halphen resigned from the board in April 2009, after serving as a trustee for several years. One of the nominees for the trustee position is current Bossier City Police Chief Patrick “Shane” McWilliams.
Act 189 of 1973 established a statewide retirement system, effective July 1, 1973, which was placed under the management of a Board of Trustees for the purpose of providing retirement allowances and other benefits for full-time municipal police officers and employees in the state of Louisiana, secretaries to chiefs of police, and employees of this retirement system. Currently there are over ten thousand members in the system.
The M.P.E.R.S. Chief District 1 position includes the parishes of Acadia, Allen, Assumption, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, Caldwell, Cameron, Catahoula, Claiborne, Concordia, DeSoto, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Iberia, Iberville, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, LaSalle, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, St. James, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, Tensas, Terrebonne, Union, Vermillion, Vernon, Webster, West Carroll, West Feliciana, and Winn.
In July 2006, while serving as a Bossier City Police Officer, I was elected by the active members of the system to serve as the M.P.E.R.S. Non-Chief District 1 Trustee. I served in this position until I left the Bossier City Police Department in October 2009 after having accepted a position in private industry.
Having served as a trustee on the M.P.E.R.S. board, I know the next chief will be required to work tirelessly, selflessly, and diligently to enhance our retirement system. This position will require a person with strong moral virtues, a strong ethical position, and an understanding of a wide array of financial investments. As with all of the other retirement systems, not only in the state of Louisiana but across the nation, current economic conditions have placed a strain on the M.P.E.R.S. The next chief elected as a trustee on the board must be able to make challenging decisions for the betterment of system and its members. I know that Chief Shane McWilliams is that Chief.
I served on the Bossier City Police Department with Chief McWilliams from September 1993 until I left the police department in October 2009. During his years of service with the Bossier City Police Department, Chief McWilliams has served in many positions within the department and has received several awards including Outstanding Employee of the Year, and Investigator of the Year. Since assuming the duties as Chief of Police for the Bossier City Police Department, Chief McWilliams has faced many difficult decisions, and has faced each of them with character and dignity, always placing the best interest of the Bossier City Police Department and the City of Bossier City first. Chief McWilliams is a Christian, husband, and father and he truly cares for the members of the M.P.E.R.S.
It is my honor and pleasure to support Chief Shane McWilliams for the M.P.E.R.S. Chief District 1 Trustee position. I know that Chief McWilliams will work tirelessly, selflessly, and diligently with the other trustees on the board to advance the Municipal Police Employees' Retirement System and its members. I am confident that Chief McWilliams will demonstrate fortitude, prudence, temperance, and justice as a member of the M.P.E.R.S. Board of Trustees as he has done as a member and leader of the Bossier City Police Department.