NEW IBERIA, La (KLFY) — The New Iberia mayor disagrees with the notion of the cities high number of unsolved murders reported and says the number is much lower.

New Iberia Mayor Freddie DeCourt says the crime rate in his city is not what many people may think and wants to set the record straight. News 10 previously reported since 2018, many murders in New Iberia have gone unsolved but Mayor DeCourt says the number is much lower.

“We had 44 murders since the N.I.P.D. has been formed which is over five years. We have solved 35. That leaves nine open cases that we are definitely still working to bring justice to our community,” said DeCourt.

According to those numbers, the New Iberia Police Department has a solve rate of nearly 80 percent. This is significantly more than the national homicide solve rate of 50 percent. Mayor DeCourt says this is because his community is starting to step up when they see something.

“That is only because community policing works, and our citizens are contributing to keep our town safe,” said DeCourt.

Council member Deedy Johnson-Reid says the city has worked diligently to keep the rate of crime low and that reaching the community’s youth is a top priority.

“We have been trying to get some of the kids who really wouldn’t have access to summer programs and get them involved in the summer camps sponsored by the city,” said Johnson-Reid.

Johnson-Reid says a great way to bring the community together is by developing a relationship with the police department.

“We need police officer to know the residents and we need the resident to have a relationship with them where they trust them and will call the police when they see something,” said Johnson-Reid.

Mayor Decourt says his confidence in the police department will continue as he and his team keep working to make New Iberia a place people want to live.