LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The situation in Baton Rouge has Acadiana law enforcement agencies thinking about their own preparedness. The Lafayette Police Department and Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office say some of their protective gear is outdated.
“There’s a whole list of items that we can equip our officers with to make sure they are safe in the event they have to employ this type of equipment in an incident that would happen in Lafayette; or if we were to assist another agency such as Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lake Charles in an incident,” says Corporal Paul Mouton of LPD.
Corporal Mouton says the out-of-date equipment for Lafayette Police stems mainly from the city being fortunate to not need to use riot and tactical gear. Mouton says it’s been decades since they bought other equipment such as helmets. “Some of the helmets that we have to-date that’s still in our inventory is from the 1970’s most recently bought in the 1990’s,” adds Mouton.
The LCG council approved $120,000 for the police department to shop for new items such as riot shields, arm and leg gear to protective gloves. “In speaking with command staff, LCG administrators and the council they wanted our officers to be equipped not only with good equipment but the best that’s available.”
“We’re looking to upgrade some of our equipment here lately,” adds PIO John Mowell of the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office. Mowell says their deputies are using gear that’s out dated as well.
“We’re operating with some equipment that’s 20 years old. We really don’t have that much of a need for that type of equipment in this area. All though as you know times changed and circumstances changed; so that’s coming back to the forefront.” adds Mowell. Mowell calls the purchasing of equipment for the LPSO a continuous process.
“The ordinance is going to allow us to seek vendors to provide us with equipment to replace some of the equipment we bought over the years,” adds Mouton.