OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — When Graig LeBlanc was elected as Opelousas Police Chief, he came into the office with the mission to reduce gang and drug-related violence in the city. Almost 100 days later, he remains focused and optimistic.
Graig LeBlanc had a few main goals when going to office; to take the community back, putting more officers on the road, more officers out, more visibility, to implement some community walks to let the community know the police are there to serve them, and to keep violent crime reduced through the community and the community outreach.
While staying true to these goals through his first three months as chief, LeBlanc said the efforts have been effective, resulting in a noticeable decrease in gang activity.
But with a surge in violence throughout March including three shootings in the last week, LeBlanc said these isolated incidents cannot begin to tear away the city’s confidence.
“What I need the public to understand is there are isolated events that are out of the control of law enforcement,” LeBlanc said. “The acts of a few people shouldn’t determine the outlook of our community. It’s our obligation to build the hope of not only our community but the officers that are out here serving.”
With the goal of reducing violence and arrests continuing to be made for each of the shootings, LeBlanc said the mindset of his department is simply don’t give up and continue the fight.
“We’re not giving up, we’re not just going to stand by, we’re not going to let violence be the tone of our community,” LeBlanc said. “In April we’re going to hit the reset button and build the morality of the officers and build the reputation of Opelousas to where it needs to be.”
As LeBlanc moves into his next one hundred days in office, he hopes to see the city stand together and never give up on the mission.