There have been nine homicide cases investigated this year in the city of New Iberia. However, since the police department was re-established in July, there have been none.
At one point, New Iberia resident Patricia Hypolite says she wouldn’t let her grandchild out of the house to even play at the park next door. “That’s how dangerous things had become”, she said. But now she says things are changing for the better.
“It’s not all that shooting. It’s not all the commotion. I’m not telling you that we are free from what’s going on, but I feel safer. “
It’s been a little over two months since the police department took jurisdiction over of the city.
“I think public safety is on the hearts and minds of not only the residents, but also the New Iberia Police Department and this new administration,” says Sherry Guidry.
Guidry is the councilwomen for District 5, where the last fatal shooting happened. She says crime has dropped in her district, and the PD and the city administration has also focused on clearing blighted homes.
“You’re able to look at these homes, find out why they are being abandoned,and what’s going on with them. We don’t want criminal element to hide in those particular areas,” Guidry said
“I see a change. You don’t hear no drama, and if there is something I see, it’s officers coming.”
“I’m hearing that, for lack a choice of words, it’s calm down a whole lot. There’s not as much gun violence, gun activity as there was in the past,” says Marlon Lewis, the councilmen for District 2, another high crime area in the city, where he says its been quiet since July.
Dolores Lewis, a District 2 resident says, “I don’t see all that walking and carrying on at night, all hours of the night. I don’t see that any more. It seems to be very clear. It looks like they’re doing a good job they pass up and down the street you see them often.”
Councilwomen Guidry says that neighborhood watch groups also help curb crime. There is a watch group meeting this Thursday Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. at 315 Weeks Street in New Iberia. The guest speaker is state Representative Terry Landry.
On October 8, 90 days after the opening of the police department, there will be a town hall meeting in MLK center in New Iberia to discuss any residents concerns.