Stephen Culotta, who has guided the Covington Police Department since October, has been named chief by Mayor Mike Cooper. Cooper announced in a news release Tuesday afternoon (March 19) that Culotta, who has more than 20 years with the department, would succeed Tim Lentz, who resigned in October and is running for St. Tammany Parish sheriff in the fall election. “I am confident that Chief Culotta will build upon the foundation and culture established over the past several years with the continued commitment to maintain safety in our community” Cooper said. The appointment is subject to confirmation from the City Council, which will hold its regular meeting Tuesday night. Culotta was named interim chief at the time Lentz announced he would be stepping down. Covington Police Chief Tim Lentz is stepping down Lentz is believed to be planning a run for St. Tammany Parish sheriff in next fall’s election. During his tenure with the Police Department, Culotta has earned promotions and been given increased duties and responsibilities, culminating with his appointment as deputy chief by Lentz in 2017, the release said. He earned more than 30 police service certifications and local merit/service awards during his career, according to the release. Cooper said Culotta has consistently demonstrated a wide range of leadership abilities and has built strong relationships with residents and business owners.