“It’s no secret we’ve been short [with] officers for a while,” says Corporal Karl Ratcliffe with the Lafayette Police Department.
He says the low numbers are caused by different factors- pay being one of them.
“We’re losing officers to different agencies, you know state police and things like that, because they have competitive pay,” says Ratcliffe.
It’s because of these low numbers within LPD that the Police Association of Lafayette has taken to social media to try and fight the shortage.
“We started letting people know what our day-to-day functions are and what we’re dealing with… The shootings, the aggravated calls that we get, many with weapons, even the multiple car burglaries,” says Scott Rummel, vice-president of the association. He adds, “[All of that] equates to response time and the amount of officers that are on the road when these things occur.”
But Rummel says it’s not all about the officers; he tells News 10 that when the numbers are low, the community is affected.
And Ratcliffe agrees, saying, “It’s not just about reducing stress for our officers. It’s about providing a higher level of quality service and response for our citizens, because if we can get there faster and we can give you a quicker response rate then that’s a win for all of us.”