LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- On Tuesday, Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory mentioned having a discussion about paying for police to receive high-risk situational training.
One councilman’s call to action sparked the response.
“I have said this before and I will continue to say it. It’s not so much as a racial thing as far as a Black and white cop. It’s the culture within the police department,” Lafayette Parish Councilman Abraham “AB” Rubin explained.
Also on Tuesday, a public comment call into the city council meeting suggested councilman Rubin’s proposal for police training has been ignored.
“He stated that he would like to see the police department have de-escalation and mental illness training done twice a year. I’m saddened that no city council member has done this yet,” a caller stated.
Councilman Rubin responded to the caller’s request.
“We have to start somewhere in order for us to get to where we need to be,” Rubin said.
Also at Tuesday’s council meeting, the mayor-president stated he believes at least $1 million needs to be dedicated to training city officers in the near future.
The $1 million would come from federal relief dollars allocated through CARES Act funding.
The mayor’s communication director says nothing has been allocated and it would be up to the council to approve and direct the funding.
“We have to change the concept or the culture in the police department,” the councilman explained. “If we get some de-escalation training and some training on how to handle people with psychological issues, then I think situations would be different.”
Rubin says he’s been working with Guillory to make something happen. And he says he’s not stopping with Lafayette.
“We would like to implement it in all municipalities. We need to be proactive. It hasn’t happened in one of the smaller municipalities but why wait until it does?” Rubin said.
Guillory’s communications director also stated that the mayor-president merely mentioned he would like to put $1 million towards police training and there have been no talks yet about the type and scope of training.