OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — A partnership between the Opelousas Police Department and St. Landry Economic Development is continuing the mission of proactive policing by installing new interstate surveillance cameras.

“We all know that the more cameras, the more eyes you have, it gives us a better solvability on our investigations. It aids us with the technology that we’re implementing, it also aids us with being able to identify suspects faster,” said Police Chief Graig LeBlanc.

According to LeBlanc, the department started a city-wide initiative to install surveillance cameras, covering as much of the city as possible. The latest expansion would include cameras and license plate readers being placed along I-49 within the city limits.

To secure funding for the cameras, LeBlanc reached out to Bill Rodier, CEO of St. Landry Economic Development, to bring the project to the next stage. With construction under way for several new businesses that will bring traffic into the city, LeBlanc said the cameras can’t come at a better time.

“We want to give them the sense of security that they deserve, and we want to enhance the security that we give to our citizens who frequent here every day. We want our citizens to know the police department is standing behind them,” LeBlanc explained.

“The security of people traveling through, especially with this facility and other multiple facilities coming into I-49. We want to make sure that to the extent that we can, we give the Opelousas police department the most proactive tool we can to make sure this is a safe and secure environment,” Rodier said.

As the organizations are in the early stages of planning the camera locations, the cameras are just the beginning of a much more ambitious plan.

“This is the first step, the first phase, in organizing a real time crime center. Where the police has the resources to get the complaint and go to the cameras so we can start tracking suspects almost in real time,” LeBlanc said.

According to Rodier and LeBlanc, the plan is to have the cameras ready by the end of the year.