by: Lora Lavigne
A crime symposium is taking place in New Iberia in an effort to help combat the increased crime and gun violence in the city.
New Iberia is described as a small town, with big city problems. Crime, poverty and gun violence is taking over which is exactly why law enforcement, city officials and local agencies are teaming up.
“Crime has always been here, evil has always been here, but evil will triumph only when good men do nothing,” said Marlon Lewis, SMILE Board President.
Marlon Lewis has been a New Iberia resident all of his life. He described how the city has changed.
“What I saw was a drying up of community. People not caring about the needs of the community. Not caring about each other and over a long period of time it caused some real issues,” said Lewis.
These are the issues the New Iberia Police Department is planning to work-on, as soon as it launches, July first.
“JOHN BABIN: “We’re going to push community-oriented policing. We want to be a part of this community. We want this community to be able to trust us, to talk to us,” said Captain John Babin of the New Iberia Police Department.
Several entities are uniting to host a symposium with the public to address many of the concerns. Captain John Babin said the police department plans to partner with council members to patrol the town.
“Council members will be able to build a personal relationship with the officers in their district. We want officers to get to know everyone working their district. We want officers to be available to everyone within their district,” Babin added.
Lewis mentioned that poverty is the aspect SMILE is addressing by providing more community resources.
“Crime is a direct result of poverty. Some of the things that are happening relative to crime. We also have education, we’re also looking into housing,” Lewis added.
The union of these groups is an effort to bring different perspectives and solutions to this on-going battle.
“A new day, a new way,” crime symposium is scheduled for Thursday, May 24th at the Sliman Theatre 6-8 p.m.
It is sponsored by New Iberia Neighborhood Watch, SMILE Community Action Agency, New Iberia Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Iberia Parish Chapter NAACP.
The panelists are:
Freddie DeCourt-Mayor City of New Iberia,
Todd Dalbor- New Iberia Police Chief
John Babin- Patrol Captain NIPD
Corey Porter- Captain Investigation Division NIPD
Carey Laviolette- Superintendent Iberia Parish Schools
James Russell, III- Supervisor Student Services, Iberia Parish Schools
Trey Haik- New Iberia City Court Judge
This event is open to the community.