SMILE hosts crime symposium in New Iberia

NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) -New Iberia held a crime symposium tonight at the Sliman Theatre to discuss ways to fight the high crime rates in the city.

Law enforcement officials, council members, and the community all gathered to discuss this important issue

Our biggest concern is the amount of violent crime that takes place,” said Iberia parish Sheriff’s Office Captain Wendell Raborn.

There have been 54 shootings in 2016 and 20 shootings this year; community officials are desperate for answers.

“We need true community policing come up, we need to get our community involved in every level,” said New Iberia mayor Freddie DeCourt.

DeCourt added that city police will significantly help the problem.

“Well come October 14, I’m going for an election to bring back the police department. I need true community policing we need to get our community involved as much as we can,” DeCourt stated.

Council member Deidre Ledbetter says she feels that conversation is the key.

Ledbetter said, “Crimes can’t be solved without people, witnesses. It’s not going to stop ever unless we take it upon ourselves to be a part of this. And being a part of it means talking about it saying what you see you can’t be afraid for forever.”

Raborn agrees with the sentiment.

“The lack of communication definitely hurts us and their input and information to help solve crimes,” he explained.

“It’s all about communication and it’s all about getting in the neighborhoods it’s all about building trust and it’s about convincing the neighborhood that they need to purchase or paid as well so it’s a process, ” DeCourt said.

Some solutions that were discussed were community policing, adding a city Police Department, the employment of the Iberia Parish crime stoppers tip line, education and activities for the youth.

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