LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– At Tuesday’s Lafayette City Council meeting, one of the items on agenda number seven was in regards to the Executive Protection Team and dignitary duty. This team serves as a security and safety measure for members of City Council.

Glenn Lazard, Councilman of District 5 said this item was on the agenda for clarity purposes. He feels it is important for the council and the community to know what the Executive Protection Team and Dignitary Duty is as well as how it operates.

According to Lafayette Police Chief Judith Estorge, “the policy of the executive protection unit is to provide security for our dignitary, our Mayor-President, town hall meetings, city council meetings, all of those sorts of things.” 

Councilwoman Nanette Cook and Councilman Pat Lewis raised concerns about 24/7 service and policy in the event the service is needed around the clock. However, Chief Estorge said the policy in place doesn’t clarify what would trigger 24/7 service.

Councilman of District 2 Andy Naquin says there had been several instances in which he saw Mayor-President Josh Guillory without a team. He noticed that the dignitary team only upheld 24/7 service when necessary.

“I have been to mass with him before, and there’s no security. I’ve been to other areas where there’s no security when he’s there. It’s needed at times. It’s needed for us at times. Sometimes it’s not there when I’m around, but thank you for being there when we need it,” he said. 

Chief Estorage says, “It is not 24/7. We do not provide that service just by a slot of hand. It is considered a decision, and we take it seriously in every aspect. We’re there also for the public for our citizens that go to these town hall meetings.”

Because Dignitary Duty is a service, the Police Chief and others involved in the policy are limited in what they can say in a public forum.

Councilman Lazard also mentioned concerns about the police staff shortages impacting the Mayor-President’s detail. 

“We all know that there have been several officers that have been pulled off line that was assigned specifically to the mayor’s office. The question is really simple: is that still the case?” he asked. 

Chief Estorge declined to discuss the issue further, referring the council to an email she sent to answer any of their concerns.

“The service is provided as needed. I would rather leave it at that,” said the chief.