CROWLEY, La (KLFY) — The City of Crowley has been denied more patrolmen to its police force to address two growing rival gangs.
The STK, or “shoot to kill” gang, and the RVC, or “roam village crew” gang, formed in 2020 over the murders of two teens.
Authorities say before two years ago, Crowley didn’t have any sustained gangs inside the city. Now they have two powerful ones that have tripled in size in a matter of months. Since last May, over 20 gang members have been arrested on murder charges.
Wednesday night, a Crowley detective addressed the City Council telling them what the police department needs to keep the public safe against the increased crime.
“We cannot sustain the course that we are on,” Crowley Police Detective Ryan Temple warned.
He raised the red flag to the city council Wednesday night. From May to December last year, the department answered 110 shots fired calls all around town. 52 involved victims and 32 have been proven to be gang-related.
“You may not recognize it right now, but the City of Crowley is like the Alamo,” Temple warned. “We are standing strong right now, but if we continue without reinforcements, and we continue without addressing the problem, we are finished.”
Police requested from the council that four more patrolmen be added to the force. They would have been the first patrolmen added since the 80s bringing the total number of street police to 29, but in a 3-2 vote, the finance committee denied them.
The committee also denied granting the department over $54,000 in overtime reimbursement granted by FEMA, leaving the department ten’s of thousands of dollars in the hole.
Alderman Brad Core and Alderwoman Kim Stringfellow supported police requests. Stringfellow was silenced when she said, “I’m just curious why are we going to follow the same trajectory as the entire United States and defunding our police department?”
“Miss Stringfellow you are out of order. You are out of order, Miss Stringfellow,” another interrupted.
Members of the police department don’t understand the treatment noting that the FEMA reimbursement has already been approved for the fire department without question.
Crowley Police Chief Jimmy Broussard exited the meeting shocked and bewildered as to what to do next.
“You’ve told this city we don’t care about your safety. We’re not giving a penny to this police department to help protect you,” he told News 10 about the council vote.
The Crowley Police Department only has $24,000 budgeted for overtime a year, so with the over $54,000 already spent last year during the emergencies of Hurricanes Laura and Delta, Broussard is considering having to take away one or two officers to meet the demands of his budget.
The Chief fears the tabled issues will not be discussed again based on past experiences. He’s asking citizens to reach out to their local councilmen to reverse these votes.
“If you want a city strained with dead bodies and blood all around, okay, but if you want a city that we want to protect and that we’ve shown we want to protect by countless hours given, then you need to let these people know,” Broussard concluded.
The full Crowley City Council meeting can be watched here.