Groves City Marshal Norman Reynolds Jr. talks retirement; city council names temporary successor

Published 12:28 am Wednesday, October 11, 2023

GROVES — Groves City Marshal Norman Reynolds Jr., who is looking to retire after multiple decades in law enforcement, has given his blessing to a temporary successor.

Reynolds suggested Sergeant Chris Robin act as interim city marshal, to which the city council gave their seal of approval Monday.

Robin, a patrol sergeant, was born and raised in Nederland, where he graduated high school in 2005, and went to McNeese State University on a football scholarship, Reynolds said

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He worked for several businesses before going through the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Academy in 2012. He has been an active member of Memorial Church of Christ since he was a teenager and serves as a deacon.

Robin moved to Groves in 2013, where he resides with his wife, son and daughter.

He worked the night shift, then moved into day patrol in 2014 and has volunteered to assist Mercy Corps in Groves alongside the chaplain.

Newly hired Groves City Manager Kevin Carruth, left, speaks with newly appointed interim city marshal Chris Robin during Monday’s council meeting. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Robin is a detective specializing in property crimes, financial crimes and internet investigations.

He has served as the department’s public information officer since 2020 and has assisted in the National Night Out event.

“I have no reservations about endorsing Sgt. Robin. He’s a man of character and ethics. He’s a fine leader and he is my endorsement for the Groves City Marshal interim position,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said Robin is a quick learner and has done a fine job with the department.

Reynolds’ official last day as city marshal is Jan. 5, though he has 29 days of comp time to take before he leaves, pushing the final day sooner.

Interim city manager Lance Billeaud, who is the city’s fire chief, said he spoke with Reynolds about the transition period for Robin to step into the city marshal role.

Billeaud was able to work with the previous fire chief, Dale Jackson, for several months before Jackson retired, which was beneficial.

“That was my concern. I wanted to make sure that if he were selected, he’d be prepared and you’d have some time to go over everything,” Reynolds said. “I have no reservations. I think Chris would be a fine interim city marshal.”

With Robin stepping into the interim position, it will leave a vacancy in the police department, Mayor Chris Borne noted.

But over the past five or so years, Groves Police Department added two additional officers and is now up to 23 on the force. Reynolds said the two additional officers have saved on overtime and led to a cushion in the amount of officers on shifts.

As of this week, there is one officer in the Academy and one who will start the Academy in January.

The position of city marshal is an elected position, but that will not impact Robin’s employment once a new city marshal is hired. Reynolds said Robin would go back to his assignment as sergeant.