Thedrick Andres will soon officially become Henderson’s police chief.
Deputy City Manager Bristol Ellington offered Andres, the acting chief of the department, the permanent job last Wednesday but announced the news Monday.
Andres’ status as permanent chief takes effect on July 8, Ellington said. His ceremonial swearing in and ratification will occur at the first City Council meeting in August.
“We have an amazing police department, as well as command team, and I think that the future of the Henderson Police Department is bright,” Andres said.
Andres took over as acting chief in March after the city placed former chief LaTesha Watson on paid leave. The city fired Watson in April, citing a discordant relationship with the police unions and a lack of collaboration with other city departments.
When Ellington put Andres in the acting chief role, the deputy city manager tasked him with bringing calm and civility to the police department, repairing relationships with regional law enforcement agencies, firming up policies and finalizing outstanding promotions.
Ellington said Andres has taken care of “the lion’s share” of those directives.
“I’m confident in his capabilities in running that organization, so I made the offer,” Ellington said.
Watson brought Andres to Henderson in early 2018 from the Arlington, Texas, police department, where they both previously worked. He started his career in Henderson as her deputy chief.
And his arrival in Henderson was not without controversy.
The Review-Journal last year cited a lawsuit that claimed Andres fatally shot a man while off-duty in 2014 after a fight that began on a party bus in Texas moved outside and escalated. Andres said someone yelled an insult at him, but he didn’t respond. When he left the bus, he was brutally beaten until he was unconscious and a man later tried to take his gun, he said.
He was cleared of wrongdoing both criminally and civilly.
Two police unions named Andres in a union-busting complaint filed last year with the state-run Local Government Employee-Management Relations Board. The case is pending with the board.
Andres’ law enforcement career began in the early 1990s at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. He has also served with the New Orleans Police Department before going to the Arlington Police Department.
After he took over in Watson’s absence, Andres said he aimed to repair damaged relationships with the unions in his mission to stabilize the department.
“I am a very pragmatic man,” Andres told the Review-Journal at the time. “I understand that when you work together, it takes time. And time and all relationships are done through good faith.”