A familiar face is returning to the Abbeville Police Department.

Voters are returning former chief Mike Hardy to office. Hardy won Saturday's general election, beating incumbent Bill Spearman by 34 votes, 829 to 785 (51 percent to 49 percent). Spearman will leave office after serving one term as Abbeville's police chief.

Hardy served three terms as Abbeville's police chief, holding that office from 1990 to 2002. In the interim, he has served as a reserve police officer while working as a car salesman.

Hardy also worked with the Maurice Police Department and the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office. Hardy also has family ties to the police department. His brothers John, Tony, and David were all police officers in the Abbeville department. John was shot and killed in the line of duty on December 23, 1992. Tony served two terms as police chief from 2010 to 2018. David was a detective and the longtime spokesman for the department. He died of cancer in March 2021.

"Our police officers, elected officials and most importantly, our citizens need a strong, qualified and proactive chief--a chief who can help provide a safe community through the use of professional and efficient department management, open lines of communication, firm but fair leadership, and proactive community policing," Hardy said in a campaign announcement published by the Abbeville Meridional. "I pledge to work with the officers, the mayor and city council, parish officials, as well as state and federal agencies to enhance better the Abbeville Police Department’s assets--training, manpower, equipment and time management. Together we will reduce response times and increase citizen and officer safety.
My goal is to create a professional and courteous public safety agency that we all can be proud of."

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