NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) – The Sugarcane Festival marks one of the few events that kicks off the festival season in Acadiana.
When talking about big events, you also have to talk about security.
New Iberia has been without a police department since 2004 and as of late there have been rumors of a returning police force there.
“It would relieve us of a lot of headaches,” says Major Wendell Raborn of the New Iberia Sheriff’s Office.
He says the department’s workload would be 1/4 of what it is right now with the addition of a police department.
The push for the department is coming from the city; specifically Mayor Freddie Decourt.
“The Mayor has his plan. He has it laid out. He’s had several town hall meetings on how he wants to do his department,” says Raborn.
He says the process is about getting all the right funds in place and at the right time.
“I really can’t give you a timeline. Could be anywhere from six months to a year,” says Raborn.
For now, the festival has hired off-duty deputies from the Sheriff’s Office to be in uniform and in street clothes.
Raborn says they haven’t seen a major incident in years but that can not be taken for granted.
“There is nothing routine about this city because of our gang violence,” says Raborn.
Raborn says if it is anything like last year, the department will be bored and the crowd will have a great time enjoying the festival.