October 6th has been declared National Night Out in Lafayette. This means Lafayette is one of 15,000 communities to take part in the nation’s largest crime prevention event.
“It’s important we recognize October 6th as National Night Out each year. It’s an opportunity for citizens to interact with law enforcement and law enforcement to interact with citizens,” says Lafayette Police Department Corporal Paul Mouton.
Members of the local law enforcement and residents showed up in numbers at the Martin Luther King Center, Niyland Park, and several other locations, hoping to break the stigma, often seen in the media today as cops versus the people.
“Only working together, are we going to lower the crime rate here in Lafayette.” says Mouton.
For Clarence Gillard, a member and Grand Commander of the Knights Templar Masons for the State of Louisiana, who helped to put on the event, and a retired New Orleans police officer, the day was about more than just showing up. “I understand with some of the different incidents that go on throughout the country. That has nothing to do with the good officers out here putting there lives on the line to protect our young men and women.”
Gillard was close friends with officer Daryle Holloway and Officer Vernell Brown of the New Orleans Police Department killed in the line of duty just this past year. “I had to attend their funerals, so this night out against crime initiative really touches my hearts. Being a cop I want to show the community I’m here for you.”