ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) – The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office and Opelousas Police Deparment are short staffed.
The agencies are both in need of more funds to hire more officers to patrol the streets of the area.
“We’re probably about 4 officers short, in patrol. I’m looking to have 60. I’m looking to have 50 patrol, I probably have 50, 45,” said Bobby J. Guidroz, St. Landry Parish Sheriff.
“I need atleast 15 (more) police officers. On books, I have 51 officers,” said Donald Thompson, Opelousas Police Chief.
Guidroz says they need more money to hire additional officers, while Thompson says they are still reviewing the city’s new budget for 2018, to see just how many officers they will be able to hire in the coming year.
Both department leaders say it’s hard to compete against bigger cities and parishes.
“It’s awful hard for a smaller police department, sheriff’s department like we have here, to compete against Lafayettte, East Baton Rouge, Calcasieu Parish. The guys and girls go for more money, and better benefits,” said Sheriff Guidroz.
“I have to echo what my sheriff is saying. Sheriff Bobby Guidroz is certainly right. It comes down to the money thing,” said Chief Thompson.
With over 900 square miles to patrol, the responsibilites for deputies in St. Landry Parish are growing.
“More patrol, we have more people, more roads, more subdivisions, more drugs, and to be effective we need no less than 15 people on each shift,” said Guidroz.
Thompson believes that wih more police presence, it could help the communities in the long run.
“When you have a safe city, that helps with everything else. It’s not something I want, it’s something I need,” he said.
Or you can just walk into the offices in person and fill out an application.
You will also have to pass extremely rigorous training.