(Editor’s note: The following article was republished with permission of the Beauregard Daily News and staff writer O. Chip Robinson. Christopher “Chris” Rudy is a UIU Fort Polk and DeRidder center criminal justice adjunct instructor.)
While still in high school in Dallas, Chris Rudy decided he wanted to be a police officer in the military.
While talking with a recruiter he found out the infantry offered a two year active duty enlistment instead of the four years he would have to serve for military police.
He was not sure he was actually going to like the military so Rudy decided to take the two year option and serve the remaining six years of his contract with the Louisiana National Guard.
Following his two years of active duty Rudy worked for seven years at the chemical plant MeadWestVeco, now Ingevity, while he completed his National Guard contract.
In 1996 Chris Rudy started working patrol as a reserve officer for DeRidder Police Department.
A year later he transitioned over to full time with DPD.
He has been with DPD for 21 years.
In 2013 he was promoted to Deputy Chief and following John Gott’s retirement Rudy was moved into the Interim Chief position.
Rudy said that throughout his career he has always enjoyed working patrol.
His decision to become a reserve officer was a way for him to test the waters before completely jumping in. “I knew in an instant that’ what I wanted to do,” Rudy said.
Currently as Interim Chief Rudy said that so far he has not faced many obstacles.
He spent six years working under then Chief Gott who was successful in restructuring the departmental budget, changing the communities perception of the department and changing the mindset of the officers to recognize what true success of the department really is.
Rudy said that while going through college working on his Criminal Justice degree he never bought into the lessons being taught about success.
He knew that success was not measured in the number of tickets and arrests being made. He likes to remind his officers that, “just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”
Rudy said that he and Gott both believe that true success is working for a community that respects you.
In addition to his Interim Chief duties Rudy teaches criminal justice courses for Upper Iowa University and with Louisiana College.
Rudy said he plans to stay in law enforcement and he will continue to teach for as long as he can.