Hargrove was police chief from 1999 to 2007 -- the first African-American police chief of Ville Platte.
The main speaker at the parkside ceremony, Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine, said the park wouldn’t be able to hold all of the people Chief Hargrove helped through the years.
“He was just a good man,” the mayor said, adding that he dressed for duty “like he was going to a police chiefs’ ceremony every day.”
Mayor Vidrine also said Chief Hargrove “was fair to everybody.”
Waiting in the audience just before the ceremony began, the current police chief, Neal Lartigue, remembered Hargrove as “a very inspiring man” who modernized the police department. Chief Lartigue said Hargrove was “always a cheerful man... He was a pleasure to work for.”
During the ceremony, Mayor Vidrine recognized Hargrove’s long-time friend, attorney Gary Ortego. In an interview after the ceremony, Ortego, who has practiced law in Ville Platte for more than 30 years, said “I got to know him very well, personally and professionally.”
Ortego said, “Romeo was just a good man -- an exceptionoal public servant. He was always determined to do the right thing, whether rich or poor, black or white.”
During the ceremony, Mayor Vidrine presented framed copies of the city council’s proclamation naming the park after Hargrove to family members, including Hargrove’s 89-year-old mother, Ruth Davis, and his widow, Matilda.