UPDATE, 2/28/23, 4:46 P.M.: The curfew which began on Saturday has now ended

ORIGINAL, 2/27/23, 10:10 P.M.: ABBEVILLE, La. (KLFY) – If you are out on the roads of Abbeville, you have been warned you will be stopped and documented by law enforcement. 

A 10 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew has been set in the City of Abbeville after multiple shootings occurred late Friday night.

“A state of emergency means people were getting shot, people, are getting injured. Just this weekend, four people were sent to the hospital, and numerous rounds were shot right there on the bypass. The only way I know to slow it down is to make sure we document everybody we see,” said Chief Mike Hardy. 

There was a special meeting at 3 p.m. Monday where Abbeville Chief of Police Mike Hardy said he was not able to bring it up at the council meeting because it was not on the agenda. However, he said it would probably be on the next agenda at the next council meeting. 

“Right now, we’ll keep the curfew in place; it’s for the safety of the citizens of Abbeville. We will get probable cause to stop anyone that is driving around after 10 o’clock. If they don’t do anything wrong, they’re driving through town; they will not be stopped,” he said. 

Suppose people violate traffic ordinances or any kind of other state law; they will be stopped, questioned, and documented the following information, where they are at the moment of being stopped, who they are—date of birth. 

“Normal things that you would get on a driver’s license, which is totally legal,” he said. 

Chief said the reason for the curfew all started about two and a half weeks ago.

“We had multiple shootings,” Hardy said. “The shootings continued almost nightly, sometimes multiple shootings each night, and there were multiple shootings. Dozens of rounds shot into houses into cars. People were injured. So I feel the safest way we can control this is to get everyone’s name, address, date of birth, document where they are and what time of the night and document; get intelligence on what’s going on in our town all hours of the night.” 

Furthermore, the chief said the curfew is not to hurt any businesses. 

“Let me just get across that we’re not trying to hurt any businesses; businesses will be allowed to be open if there is a business that usually stays open past 10 o’clock. They’re welcome to continue,” he said. However, he adds, “if someone is in a restaurant and it goes past 10 o’clock, they may get stopped on the way home.” 

He said to be aware if you ride around Abbeville and circle around in different areas or drive around in a high-crime area, you could be stopped.

“If they’re eating at a restaurant, they leave and go home. Nobody’s going to bother them,” said chief Hardy. “I don’t want to hurt anyone’s business. We want them that flourish and make as much money as they can. The main thing is we’re trying to slow crime in this town where people continue to get business.” 

Chief Hardy was able to get a new hire at the city council meeting. He said he is happy because it means they will have more officers on patrol. He said that changing the starting pay to $40,000 helped. 

“It is attracting more people that want to get into law enforcement and make law enforcement a career. It’s a starting salary that’s competitive with the surrounding areas, Lafayette, Broussard, and Youngsville,” he said. “We have guys on patrol, but they can’t just investigate every shooting and let it just continue going on, especially with a manpower shortage. Now we’re hiring people. We’re hoping to provide more presence in the town, and with this presence is going to slow down the shootings.” 

In regards to the active investigation, he said, “No arrests have been made as of yet, but we do have suspects we are confirming before we make an arrest. We want this case to stick. We wanted to go to court and convict.” 

Chief Hardy urges the public to provide any further information regarding this crime or any other crime by calling the Abbeville Police Department at (337) 893-2511. You may also contact our “TIPS” line at (337) 892-6777. All Callers may remain anonymous. Citizens may also send anonymous tips through Crime Stoppers of Vermilion by calling (337) 740-TIPS or the P3 app, which can be downloaded through the Apple App Store or at Google Play Store.