John “Chip” Matte (left) receives a plaque for 25 years of dedicated service from Chief of Police Neal Lartigue (right). (Photo by Mable Foreman)
At the end of his watch
After 25 years as a police officer, Chip Matte retired recently, saying goodbye to his fellow officers, chief, and staff at the Ville Platte Police Department. He was assistant chief for eight years.
Matte grew up in Ville Platte, out in the country. His father was a state trooper with Troop I, so Matte always had an interest in law enforcement. He graduated from Ville Platte High in 1989. He started his career in law enforcement in his early twenties when he went to work as a jailer for the sheriff’s office. After six months there, he applied to be an officer and was accepted.
As a detective, the most interesting cases Matte worked on had to do with old rape cases that were solved years later with DNA evidence. He started his career as an officer and climbed the ranks to sergeant, lieutenant, detective, chief of detectives and then assistant chief. When asked which position he liked better Matte said, “I liked being a detective, but I didn’t like being on call.”
Matte said he is going to miss his fellow officers. “It’s more like leaving a family than a place of work. When asked what he will miss least, he said of working with the public, “There’s rarely any good moments. You catch the people at their worst.”
Since retiring from the police department, Matte is now a truck driver. He said he likes driving a truck, making deliveries within the state. He is relieved he does not have to work nights or weekends.
Chief of Police Neil Lartigue said of Matte, “I liked serving with him. We worked together for 25 years. He’s always been a pleasure to work with and a very knowledgable person. He’s not only a good coworker, but he’s a very good friend. I wish him well.”