LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office (LPSO) and the Lafayette Police Department have formed and mobilized a new Joint Violent Crime Task Force targeting gun violence.
The announcement at the Lafayette Consolidated Government included the support of Mayor-President Josh Guillory and 15th Judicial District Attorney Don Landry.
“It takes us all working together to combat crime here in Lafayette,” Mayor-President Guillory stated.
Sheriff Garber says the goal of the task force is to target gun crimes and those who use guns in connection with crime, to remove illegal guns from the streets, and to enhance investigations by leveraging technology not previously available; such as the advent of crime cameras, the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network’s (NIBIN) ballistic database, and the LPSO Real-time Crime Center.
Garber says the violent crime increase is nothing unusual. When crime goes down, it eventually goes up.
“When you look back over the last 50 years, none of this is unusual. Crime is up everywhere. It’s up in New Orleans. It’s up in Chicago,” Garber stated.
The sheriff says through intelligence operations of both agencies, the task force largely knows who the offenders are.
Combined with criminal patrol tactics, he says the task force will seek out specific persons and groups of persons until they’re in custody or they’ve gone underground.
Garber explained the objective is not to arrest as many people as possible, but rather disrupt a pattern of criminal activity unable to be dealt with using conventional means.
The sheriff says existing resources and manpower will be used to get the job done.
“My office and the Lafayette Police Department are fully and completely committed to this. What we don’t want to do, is to take people off of their day job and have them spending time that could otherwise be used for other activities. It could go anywhere from 10 officers at one time up to 40 officers and deputies at one time,” Garber said.
The district attorney’s office plans to prosecute and hold the arrested accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
Plus, the sheriff says there’s nothing to suggest gang-related activity.
“It makes no difference to me or no moment to me whether or not it’s gang-related or not. It’s violent crime, it poses a danger to our community and that’s what we’re going to target,” the sheriff added.