Morgan City Police Chief Travis Crouch died in Biloxi, Miss. (Updated)
Morgan City Police Chief Travis Crouch died Friday night in Biloxi, Miss., after being found in a hotel room at the Beau Rivage with an apparent single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to Biloxi Police Sgt. Christopher DeBack.
Crouch was found at 11:05 p.m. Friday by a member of Crouch’s party who was not staying in the same hotel room as him, DeBack said.
Shortly after midnight Saturday, Morgan City police received information that Crouch died while on leisure time in Biloxi, Miss., Morgan City Assistant Chief Michael Banks said Saturday surrounded by Morgan City police officers.
Morgan City Mayor Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi and Banks called a news conference Saturday afternoon.
DeBack said the investigation into Crouch’s death is ongoing, but the wound does appear to have been self-inflicted. “There’s no evidence or leads to make us believe it occurred any other way or that anybody else was involved,” DeBack said.
Morgan City Mayor Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi said, “This is a tough blow to the City of Morgan City. It’s not only tough to the city, the entire parish, but to the family that has been left behind.”
Crouch began his career with the Morgan City Police Department in 1991, and Grizzaffi appointed Crouch police chief Feb. 26, 2013, with the city council’s approval.
The police department will continue to “carry on,” Grizzaffi said. “Not only was Chief Crouch an outstanding person, but he had proven to be an outstanding police chief,” Grizzaffi said.
Grizzaffi said the city can do one of two things in response to Crouch’s passing. “We can either turn around and crawl in a hole, or we can take what we learned in this short year of Travis’ excellent work as a police chief and get behind Assistant Chief Banks and move forward,” Grizzaffi said.
The Morgan City Police Department “will do everything possible” to help Crouch’s family “cope with this tragedy,” Banks said.
“Chief Crouch began making innovative and positive changes within our department. Chief Crouch demanded a higher standard of service from his officers to better serve the members of our community,” Banks said.
“Although we grieve with Chief Crouch’s family, and our community, we, the members of Morgan City Police Department, we vow to continue to achieve the higher standards Chief Crouch set in motion,” Banks said.
Grizzaffi said, “Looking in the eyes of our police force this morning ... It’s a tough thing.”
Grizzaffi said today has been “a long day, and it’s not going to get easier tomorrow. But, over time, we’ll learn to appreciate what Chief Crouch has done for the City of Morgan City.”
Banks will fill the vacancy left by Crouch, as provided by civil service law, Grizzaffi said. The city may look at advertising for the position of police chief “after a certain amount of time,” he said. “Right now, there’s no intention to do anything but get behind Assistant Chief Banks and continue to do the good work that Travis has started,” Grizzaffi said.
“One thing about him during the interview process, we talked about the challenge that we had in front of us and what it was going to take to change it,” Grizzaffi said. “He was confident that he had the ability to make things happen. He laid out a plan, and in his first year, he delivered.”