LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Lafayette police will be keeping a closer eye on the downtown area when a new precinct opens inside the Rosa Parks Transportation Center.

Police Spokesperson Sgt. Robin Green says the department is aiming to be up and fully operational by May 31.

“It’s going to be located in the Rosa Parks Transportation Center which is ideal because it’s in the heart of the downtown area,” Sgt. Green explained.

The new precinct will be the department’s fifth and will be located on the first floor of the Jefferson Street building. 

Last week, LCG Chief Communications Officer Jamie Angelle stated that the precinct had received funding last fall from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). 

According to reports, ARPA funds are federal dollars for economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Angelle said that a recent surge in violence in the downtown area is not what’s sparking the change.

He said it had already been slated to open.

“This was already in the works. Now, we are happy that it’s actually going to happen and yes with the police presence in the area we’re hoping that it will help deter criminal activity.”

Some who live in the downtown area agree that a closely located police precinct is what’s needed.

“I think it’s wonderful. We’ll feel much safer,” resident Cammy Edmonds said.

Floyd Lambert of Lafayette doesn’t live downtown, but says he sees the value of having a precinct nearby.

“Like three incidents, gun shooting and stuff like that downtown and then last night up here.  Great, we need that,” Lambert stated.

Still, there are some who don’t like the idea.  

Those who disagree say they’re concerned that they will not be able to more around as freely or act freely with the constant police presence enforcing restrictions.