ST. MARTINVILLE, La. (KLFY) — The Police Chief of St Martinville is forming a crime plan to deter shootings in the most dangerous parts of the city. According to Chief Ricky Martin, from January 1st to December 1st, his department received 81 shots fired complaints. The vast majority occurred on the 8 to 10 blocks surrounding Lasalle Street.
The problem officers are facing is they can’t be everywhere at once, but a couple of solutions would allow for a stronger police presence when and where it’s most needed.
“It’s the same streets. It’s the same streets over and over,” people lamented at Monday’s St. Martinville City Council meeting.
Shooting and how to prevent them were topics of discussion Councilman Mike Fuselier put on the agenda.
“I visited a friend the other night and there was a gunshot through their mobile home through their child’s room, and that’s just unacceptable,” Fuselier told News 10.
Chief Ricky Martin said in the meeting, “I have two patrolmen at a time. Everyone in the city knows that, and they’re taking advantage of it.
“For them to be able to do their job, they have to know where we’re at. “For us to be able to do our job, we have to know where they’re at,” Martin explained. “It’s a game, but we need to win the game.”
The chief’s proposed game plan plays offense and defense. The offense includes using overtime to aggressively patrol the most dangerous city blocks. The defense would utilize live feed surveillance cameras also posted at high crime areas.
“Cameras are on duty 24 hours a day. They have a good memory. If you can just get a license plate if you can get a face, that can be tremendous help,” expressed Fuselier.
He has been coordinating with the chief on the most difficult part of the plan, the price. $4,000 has been saved through their community advisory committee, but Fuselier is confident funds from the opioid epidemic lawsuit are coming soon, and it could allow their department to catch up with others across Acadiana.
Chief Martin said, “Most of them around here have cameras, especially Lafayette Parish, so I’m going to reach out to the chiefs in Lafayette Parish and see what they have and build from there.”
He will be working on his proposal over the holidays because he plans to present it at the city council’s January meeting.