OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — News 10 spoke with candidates for the Chief of Police in Opelousas to hear their stories, their missions and their x-factor, starting with incumbent Martin McLendon.
McLendon told News 10, “I have been honored and privileged to serve the people of Opelousas for the past 4 years as the chief of police. We have committed to making Opelousas a safer city. Will we 100% eliminate gun violence? Not going to happen. But what we will 100% do is commit ourselves to confront gun violence in the city of Opelousas and I believe trust is going to be the difference maker.”
McLendon plans to lead by example and work every day to make the city safer.
“On November 9th we’re going to continue to hit the ground running,” McLendon said. “This campaign is about the men and women of the Opelousas police department whom I lead and lead by example. I work 7 days a week for the people of Opelousas. With our technology and commitment from the officers of Opelousas police department, you can expect Martin McLendon to move forward with trust.”
Trust is what McLendon believes is his x factor.
“Trust, underscore, maturity. You need a mature individual who’s going to do it right and do it right the first time.” McLendon said. “And I put my career next to him and let’s see where the integrity stands. And I promise you martin McLendon will be standing tall.”
McLendon’s opponent is Graig “Twin” Leblanc.
Leblanc told News 10, “I’m from Opelousas born and raised. I’ve seen that our city is in a crisis, and I have the knowledge, the training, and the experience to reduce that violent crime. I have a plan and I believe that it is my purpose in my career to fight crime for the citizens of Opelousas and offer them a safer city.”
Leblanc’s top priority is to train his officers to reduce violent crime.
“The number 1 priority is to reduce violent crime. And one of my number 1 goals is to train the officers both technically and tactically to be able to confront the violent crime that they are facing right now,” LeBlanc said. “Through an accelerated training program which I’ve identified, I believe we can equip our officers to better handle and approach the violent crime that’s going on in the city of Opelousas.”
Leblanc said passion and experience are what sets him apart.
“My x-factor I believe is ,number 1, my training and my experience,” LeBlanc said. “But most of all my passion for the people of Opelousas. I think that’s what really sets me apart, and my ability to get out in the streets for the people of Opelousas and fight crime head-on.”