The Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Department says it can no longer afford to book inmates and dispatch calls for other municipalities. Sheriff Mike Neustrom and the mayors of the incorporated towns are talking about what's a fair price. Just about everyone seems to be supportive of what needs to be done. "We talked about what those estimates could be so they can plan for the future." says Neustrom.
Sheriff Neustrom says a cost estimate is forth coming - but how much it will actually cost is still up in the air. Many of the cities pay mileages for patrol and other sheriff's services. Those funds do not go toward inmate booking and dispatch.
The Mayor of Carencro last month informed the council that the city could see an increase of approximately $100,000 to cover those services.
Sheriff Neustrom explains that 40% of dispatched calls are for other municipalities. "We have been struggling by the increased number of inmates booked by towns. As the towns grow, the number of people that they bring to the jail has grown."
The Mayor of Youngsville says he has attended the meeting on dispatch and booking. Mayor Viator says he too understands where the sheriff is coming from. "We realize the sheriff is having to run a large jail compared to or on the same budget. I know taxes have gone up, but still he's running a lot larger operation and it takes more money to run it," says Mayor Viator.
Other towns involved in the discussion include Scott and Broussard. The Police Chief of Scott says that the next meeting is scheduled for May.