Public safety a concern following proposal to dismantle parks and recreation police in Lafayette

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) Lafayette Parks and Recreation may lose out again.

First the closure of four recreation centers in order to save money and now there are talks of taking away the six patrolman who monitor the parks.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea. I feel pretty safe when I’m able to come to the park and see a park policeman around,” a resident said.

Another resident stated, “We need the police more now than anything. I”m not just talking park police but every policeman out there.”

According to an LCG job description, a park patrol officer serves many roles.

Among them is the protection of the people who use parks and recreation facilities.

City park visitor Mikaela Walker says what about crowd control and potential crime?

“If they stop, I’m going to start having company come around instead of just coming by myself,” Walker noted.

There are others who feel the same.

One parent says she counts on park patrol officers to respond to emergencies and cries for help.

“I like the police here in case a fight breaks out, or somebody does something they’re not supposed to do; the little children, somebody could kidnap them. You never know. Police need to be here to monitor that,” resident Alexis West said.

The proposal couldn’t come at a more challenging time.

LCG says it is temporarily closing four recreation centers due to budget constraints.

The location of those facilities hasn’t played out well among many in the public.

“This kind of goes along with shutting down those recreation centers? I know we need to save money, but why do they need to shut down the recreation centers on the north side of town?” one resident stated.

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