ST. MARTINVILLE, La. (KLFY) — The St. Martinville Police Department has launched a new unit specifically targeting violent crime.
Chief Ricky Martin tells News 10 he’s brought in pretty much an entirely new department, including six more positions than when he was elected.
“We have people that are concerned in our community, and now we are at that point where we have the manpower and the staff to address the issue,” Chief Martin said.
Guns, drugs, gangs, but also traffic and public relations. These are the responsibilities of the Crime Suppression Unit in St. Martinville. Brad LeBlanc and Jacob Russo are two of its founding officers.
LeBlanc explained, “We actually didn’t have a unit, a specialized division, besides detectives to focus on one thing. He brought this in to put as a more proactive unit.”
“We’re able to focus strictly on that because we don’t have to worry about the calls and the complaints because we’re focused on the shootings, and the narcotic activity and the gang activity,” Russo added.
To combat the threats and prevent them, the unit is equipped with new technology, including drones bought with the officers’ personal money. LeBlanc said similar tailored departments in other areas have statistically reduced crime.
“Our technology basis at St. Martinville PD was kind of fair behind,” LeBlanc admitted. “These technologies we need to utilize.”
By suppressing violent crime, the unit hopes to restore St. Martinville to a place where everyone can feel safe.
“I want our kids to be able to ride to come and ride bikes and play on the streets again. Bring the community back outdoors, you know. Back where it was when we were growing up,” LeBlanc stated.
If that’s not the St. Martinville, you want to live in, Chief Martin has a message, “If you’re selling drugs if you’re playing with guns, get out our city and don’t come back because we’re coming to get you.”
The crime suppression unit only started July 20, 2021, so if you do have any feedback on what you’d like to see it become, key your eyes peeled for their specially marked units and say hello.
Officers LeBlanc and Russo say they are ready and willing to talk.