OPELOUSAS, la. (KLFY) — As gun violence continues to grow in Opelousas, residents believe it will take the strength of the entire community to make a difference.
Community activist Donald Broussard told News 10 that “We need everybody on board because right now I don’t feel safe in my city, I don’t feel safe for my 92-year-old grandmother, I don’t feel safe for my sister and her children. I don’t feel safe for my daughter and my grandkids. Unless some drastic things occur, you’re going to continue to see the decline of a city.”
Broussard said that the police are doing the best they can to deal with the violence, but the community can still do more to help.
Helping includes bringing in groups from faith-based communities, non-profit organizations, and social groups to share ideas with city officials about how to help the youth.
Broussard also said that the building of a new juvenile detention center where mentors can meet face-to-face with troubled youth can also be a huge benefit.
“We need a juvenile detention facility so that we can put them into a formatted setting where they can be taught life skills, social skills, job training, and job placement skills. We have to get innovative because criminals out here are not innovative but they just have access,” Broussard told News 10.
Since the crime rate in Opelousas has been building up for quite some time, both Broussard and Police Chief Graig LeBlanc recognize that reducing the violence will take time, but with the city standing together, there will always be hope.
“This problem was not created in a day and it’s not going to be solved in a day. It’s going to take a very proactive approach,” Broussard said.
“There is still hope out here. There is still hope for the city of Opelousas. The community must help the police department. We depend on the eyes and ears and the support of the community. I firmly believe that at the end of the day, these problems will be resolved in the city of Opelousas,” LeBlanc said.