OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — In Opelousas, the mission set by the police department to install license plate readers and surveillance cameras on the interstate and inside the city is one step closer to reality now that funding has been approved.

“It means for the Opelousas Police Department, one more step forward that we’re taking to become more advanced in our technology area to help better solve crimes and to solve crimes faster,” Opelousas Police Chief Graig LeBlanc said.

The approved funding for the cameras stems from St. Landry Economic Development, who initiated discussions with the police department in July to put the plans into action.

While targeting high traffic areas such as the newly built truck stop on the interstate, LeBlanc said the goals are to strategically place cameras around as much of the city as possible and to make them accessible to officers working specific shifts.

“In the big scope of things, everything that we’re going to do and every position that we’re going to put a camera is to work together and formulate a plan. In case something happens in Opelousas, we can gather the information quickly, so we can start trailing the suspect,” LeBlanc said.

LeBlanc said surveillance cameras have become essential in investigations for law enforcement across the country, and installing the cameras will make it easier and faster to identify vehicles and potential suspects as soon as the call comes in.

“Everything in law enforcement and everything around the world is moving to real time,” LeBlanc said. “Lafayette has been successful with their real time crime center, and we’re doing what we need to do here in Opelousas for the citizens to keep up with the technology that’s going on in law enforcement.”

LeBlanc said the first set of the new cameras is already installed and operational, with more to come in the near future.

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