Police chief makes request for more funding

Monday afternoon Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft made a proposal to the city-parish Future Needs and Funding Sources Committee on how to expand the force to better serve the community.

As Lafayette continues to grow, the police department has to go with the community, said Lafayette Police Department Chief Jim Craft.

Lafayette Police made a presentation regarding its current status and projection of needed resources in the five years. When totaled, those request add up to about 22 million dollars.

 “Most of it has to do with our police station, our headquarters building and establishing precincts in the southwest and southeast portion of the city” said Craft.

The department has operated on the same programs and software for many years, according to Chief Craft, which is why a new records management system is near the top of the list; in addition to a new records system, Chief Craft says the amount of critical incidents the department responds to that call for on-scene management, is the precise reason an update to field equipment is needed.

Craft says, “We definitely are in need of a new mobile command post, something that is bigger, since the department has grown, we need something a little bigger than what we have now to manage those incidences.”

With nearly 100 hit and run accidents recorded each month, Chief Craft suggested beefing up the traffic enforcement section, and adding up to 40 patrol officers, considering what the staff should look like five years down the road.

“Our resources are strained, we have not been able to fill vacancies in these specialized services that we offer because we need to keep people in patrol management calls for service.”

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