Opelousas leaders discuss crime prevention

On Wednesday, local leaders in Opelousas met to discuss tackling crime and that forum was taken to the airwaves. The discussion comes after another murder happened in the city on Sunday.

The people of Opelousas are fed up with crime and are looking towards local leaders to come up with solutions. So, what is the answer? That's not an easy question.

“It's a complex issue and it's an issue that does not involve one particular problem,” said Mayor Donald Cravins.

Cravins was among the panelists answering listener questions live on-air for KOCZ 92.9 FM.

He was joined by Senator Elbert Guillory, District Attorney Earl Taylor, and several representatives with the Opelousas Police Department and St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office.

Moderator and on-air personality for the radio station, Tyrone Glover, arranged the get-together.

“I'm very pleased that all of these heads came together, in one place, at one time, for the same reason,” said Glover.

Between improvements in education, home-life, building trust, and adding mentoring programs, there's a whole spectrum of starting points and reasoning behind violent crime. But they all agreed-something has to change.

“We found things we can agree upon, now we must be active in the community,” said Capt. Martin McClendon with OPD.

“Children start acting out at a very early age. We need to identify those children at five, six, seven-years-old and intercede at an early age,” said Senator Guillory.

“A lot of programs were taken away from the community,” said Glover. “We need to add those programs back and even more.”

On February 3rd, an anti-crime function will be held at the BelleView Baptist Church in Opelousas to address more of these same issues.

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