Below is a Message from Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft, in response to recent media coverage regarding the 10 Lafayette Police Officers who have filed suit against the department. To view our coverage of the lawsuit brought against the department click here.
Much media attention has been given to allegations made by a group of disgruntled employees. Their allegations include police corruption, racial discrimination, payroll fraud, crime statistics manipulation, and harassment. Two lawsuits have been filed in this matter and because of pending litigation; I cannot discuss specifics as they relate to these claims. Time, patience and the judicial system, not sensational publicity stunts, will prove these allegations false and inaccurate.
This morning I send this message to the, decent citizens of our entire community. I reassure everyone that, in spite of these baseless allegations by a handful of current and former employees, the rest of the members of the Lafayette Police Department continue to come to come to work every day and perform their duties. I thank them, I salute them and I commend them for their professionalism and dedication to the job.
We have not and will not deviate from our mission to protect and serve the City and people of Lafayette. Although they serve out in public every day, most of our employees lead private lives and stay away from the spotlight. To now have their names and private conversations suddenly and without warning thrust onto the 6:00 o'clock news has been traumatic and devastating to them.
Their families have been affected by these underhanded tactics as well. Most in our department question how a police officer could do this to another without regard for their well-being or the well-being of their families. Can anyone in any organization fathom the reaction of GO-workers secretly recorded during perceived moments of friendly water-cooler chit -chat?
As a career law enforcement professional, these actions and the subsequent public airings of unsubstantiated allegations dismay me. They seem to be little more than a baseless and purposeful attempt to dishonor the Lafayette City Police Department and those who serve with honor and courage. They are also attempting undermine the confidence the people of Lafayette have in our department.
But, let me assure you their selfish scheme is not working, nor will it work. Our officers and staff are professionals who will not allow it to detract from their jobs or their professionalism. I thank the employees for their continued encouragement and support. And, likewise, friends, relatives and citizens from across this community and beyond who have called, emailed and left countless messages voicing their support of us. They are not buying into this sham either. Thank you to those of you who have been a source of strength, inspiration and determination.
People of this community do not rush to judgment about their police department. That does not surprise me. Lafayette is a family oriented, solid and positive community. We have the patience here to objectively allow these ugly and false allegations to play out. As I stated earlier, the appropriate venue for matters such as these is the court room and not in the media. We will continue to perform our duties with honesty and integrity in spite of this viciousness which has attempted to pervade our ranks.
God Bless this city and God Bless the Lafayette Police Department.