OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — As Graig LeBlanc enters his second week as Opelousas police chief, he sets the goal of lowering crime in the city and gaining the trust of his community.
“We’re in a complete rebuilding phase. We’re stacking our shifts we’re putting more officers on the road and more out for more visibility. We also want to stress to the community that we’re here. We’re hiring additional personnel so that we can service the community,” LeBlanc told News 10.
While bringing in more officers and increasing patrol, Leblanc is creating a community service unit to increase interaction between residents and police.
“We’re in the process of building what we call a community service unit that’s going to be in charge of our community relations board and we’re going to implement some community walks just to let the community know the police department is here to serve you and I think through that the people that commit these violent acts will see that through our service we’re protecting our citizens and they’ll get the message that Opelousas is not the city for them to come and mess around with,” he said.
LeBlanc also plans to revamp the junior police program for the first time since 2006, giving officers a chance to interact and build relationships with the youth of Opelousas and visit schools.
“We know that we have a long way to go, we know that we have a rebuilding process, we know that we have obstacles to face. The ultimate goal, the ultimate plan is to get the support of the community. Let the community know that we’re here to serve the citizens of Opelousas and we’re to reduce the violent crime that’s going on here in Opelousas.”
LeBlanc also said that the continued support from both the community and his fellow officers is inspiring him to work even harder to make Opelousas safer for all.