Morgan City police chief mourned
City officials remembered Police Chief Travis Crouch as someone who made positive changes in the police department and stressed the importance of communication.
Mayor Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi said Crouch set an example for anyone that follows him as police chief and did a lot during his one year as chief.
During his time as police chief, Crouch worked to restructure the jail by housing female parish prisoners and refurbishing the jail, Grizzaffi said.
Crouch promoted more officers in 10 months than any police chief in the city’s history, the mayor said.
“Right now, the immediate attention goes on the family. They’re hurting more than us,” Grizzaffi said Saturday. “We’ve got to make sure that they’re OK.”
Mayor Pro-tem Louis Tamporello said once Crouch took over as chief “he really shined.” Crouch pulled the police department together and pointed the department in the right direction, Tamporello said.
Crouch loved being a police officer, loved his family, and loved his job, Tamporello said. “It’s just such a sad, sad thing that we lost such a good guy,” Tamporello said.
Crouch implemented a drug task force team and was adamant about trying to get drugs off the street, Tamporello said.
City Councilman Tim Hymel said Crouch was an outgoing person and would do anything for anybody. “At a time like this, it’s just hard to find words to describe how everybody’s feeling,” Hymel said.
City Councilman James Fontenot said “Crouch will be greatly missed,” and the city “was truly blessed to have Travis Crouch serve as police chief.”
Crouch’s emphasis on communicating with the public and within the police department was “probably the biggest thing he did,” Fontenot said.
Assistant Police Chief Michael Banks remembers Crouch as “a reasonable man” who valued his officers’ opinions, Banks said.
Banks, who worked with Crouch for all of Crouch’s 23 years with the Morgan City Police Department, said he has so many memories of Crouch that it is impossible for him to pick just one that stands out. “He’s going to be missed,” Banks said.
Crouch appointed Banks assistant chief in July. Banks has worked at the Morgan City Police Department for 30 years.
“He as the chief, me supporting him, we tried to do for this department what we thought was right,” Banks said.
Banks recalls Crouch sitting with his officers and discussing what decisions he planned to make for the department. If anyone in his command staff disagreed or thought the department should take a different approach, Crouch would listen to that person, Banks said.
“He may challenge you because he was abrasive, but beneath that abrasive exterior, he’s a reasonable man. And if he made a decision, he didn’t mind revisiting it,” Banks said.
“We’re two different individuals. He and I, we’ve been considered or we’ve been called Yin and Yang. And we are that, but I would not want what he set in motion to fall by the wayside,” Banks said.
Crouch and Banks used to sit down in each other’s offices and “hash things out,” Banks said. “If we couldn’t come to some decision then, all right, let’s go to lunch,” Bank said.
“We’d go to lunch; you change your mind, no. Let’s get the captains in here. We’d go at it from all sides,” Banks said. “You can’t help but respect somebody like that. If he was wrong, he had no problem telling you he was wrong.”
Funeral services for Crouch will be Thursday at Twin City Funeral Home located on Fourth Street and Duke Street in Morgan City. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial will take place at 3 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church located at Third Street and Union Street. Burial will follow at the Morgan City Cemetery.
Grizzaffi said he is working to make it possible for all city employees to have the opportunity to attend the funeral. City Hall’s flag was at half-staff this morning, Grizzaffi said.