Conrad Franz has been appointed as the new chief of the Causeway Police Department, replacing the longtime chief who resigned in July. Franz, who had been with the agency for three decades before retiring, takes over a 35-member department responsible for patrolling the 24-mile bridge over Lake Pontchartrain and the Huey P. Long Bridge over the Mississippi. Lt. Mike Kelly had been serving as interim chief. Franz joined the Causeway force in 1987 after leaving the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and over the years rose to become the Causeway department’s commander of operations. He retired in 2017 but is coming back to take the chief’s job.
Every year, about 13 million vehicles cross the Causeway and the department receives approximately 3,500 calls for service each year. The Huey P. Long Bridge gets about as many riders, and police respond to approximately 2,400 calls for service. The bridges are overseen by a five-member commission, whose members are appointed by St. Tammany and Jefferson Parish officials.