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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Hail to the new chief!

A swearing-in.
Lunch with the area’s preachers of all races and denominations.

Meeting with the staff.

Wednesday’s schedule was not a day for wimps.

But at the end of it, new Shreveport Police Chief Henry L. Whitehorn relaxed and shared hors d’oeuvres and conversation with neighbors, friends and colleagues at a party in his honor at the Cross Lake home of attorney Ron Weems and wife/nurse Rose Weems.

The Weems always set their table with food they prepare.

This occasion included 10 pounds of sausage Ron grilled that was dressed with a rosemary branch and sprigs of basil from their beautiful garden. There was marinated mushrooms for which Rose is famous, boiled shrimp, a mousse, wrapped sandwiches with salsa and the piece de résistance, the Weems’ pralines.

At the Weems, it is always an inside/outside party for people love their back garden overlooking the lake. They meander outside to rock on their back porch, sit on the brick steps, find the table shaded by a tree.

The chief, dressed in a tan window pane check suit and bright blue shirt — sans tie — came early with wife Waverlyn and stayed late.

Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover and wife Veronica also came early and stayed into the night.

Whitehorn’s North Cross Lake neighbor and best friend Lynn Braggs and wife Sharon were among those in the mix.

So were city officials Rick Seaton and Dale Sibley and up and coming young professional, former Homer Mayor David Aubrey, who now works for Southern University-Shreveport.

Drinking juice, Whitehorn chatted with such high profilers as state Sen. Lydia Jackson, Sam Gregorio, George and Carolyn Mills, Southern University Chancellor Ray Belton, Kit Gamble, Theron Jackson, Wiley and Wiley Pollard, Regina Winn, Brian and Denise Landry, Dee Peterson, Jerry and Jackie White and Winzer Andrews.

He exchanged banter with his host, laughing when Ron said, "Last night was probably your last good night of sleep." (Meaning, of course, that the new chief who is the first black police chief, has plenty of challenges ahead of him.)

So what does today hold?

"I am going home and rest and try to get to the first roll call at the police department," said Whitehorn, admitting that he would have to call to be sure of the time, but thought it was at 6:30 a.m.

"I am going to talk to them about my leadership philosophy and ask their support to help me get done to do what we need to do to make Shreveport a safe city," he said.

He is a nice man, Henry Whitehorn. You’ll like him.


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