Lafayette, La. (KLFY) — Concerned citizens of Lafayette are demanding the Mayor-President position be split, and following last week’s double homicide and quadruple shooting in Moore Park, activist groups are asking for even more.
The Concerned Community Activist Organization said the city of Lafayette needs to have more control over decisions affecting the city, and they know how to make it happen.
“It all revolves around amending the charter,” said concerned community advocate Keith Faulk. He is advocating to change Lafayette’s home rule charter to split the mayor-president position in two and make the police chief an elected position.
Wednesday night, Faulk made his case with the support of other city-based activist groups.
Lafayette NAACP President Marja Broussard said, “The Parish gets to vote for the president, and we do as well, but we don’t vote for Youngsville’s mayor, we don’t vote Broussard’s mayor. We don’t vote for those little municipalities around us, so I think it’s a conflict.”
Changes wanted in the police department go beyond an elected chief. Faulk is calling for no additional funding for city police until a citizens’ review board with subpoena power to call witnesses and view body cameras is put in place.
Other groups such as The Village 337 and Unity 7 joined in asking for the reinstatement of park police. Though the Lafayette Police Department is making adjustments following the Moore Park shooting, including the creation of a four-man park detail, Faulk argues it’s not the same.
“Chief Benoit made sure that the people had the trust of the citizens. We can’t trust the Lafayette Police Department right now to control the streets,
and if they ain’t got trust to control the streets, what makes you think they’re going to have trust to control the parks?” Faulk questioned.
Every issue the Concerned Community Activist Organization said points back to amending the charter an action that would be taken up by the councils and voted on by the people.
Wallace Senegal added, “We’re asking the people to step up with and join with us to make sure the concern of the community of Lafayette is being recognized.”
Additionally, the group mentioned a dispute between the city council and the consolidated government’s attorney. They agree that the council can hire its own attorney for legal advice, and LCG’s attorney is wasting city tax dollars bringing it to court.