VILLE PLATTE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEETING
OCTOBER 15, 2014
Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue addressed the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce at its meeting today(Wednesday) at noon.
The chief addressed some of the concerns chamber members had last month after a number of businesses were broken into. Chief Lartigue said the rash of burglaries finally ended as of September 22 after implementing a special overnight patrol unit to check on businesses and targeting those walking without reflected gear.
He told chamber members cases cannot be solved in an hour like a TV show. Also on fingerprints, not all prints can be lifted and it all depends upon the surface. Also, if a print is lifted and submitted to the crime lab it may take 6 months to a year to come back for a match.
Chief Lartigue said it has always been the policy of the department not to identify the business place that was burglarized. However he will now give the business the option to permit their name to be used in the news release.
Stolen items are primarily being sold to private individuals or out of town. He said his department receives a list of pawned items each week that his investigators review for a possible match of stolen merchandise.
He announced that his department had 480 arrests since the beginning of the year with 58 felony arrests. For the month of October, the department responded to 611 calls, 45 citations were issued, 61 people were arrested, 12 felony arrests and they worked 31 traffic accidents.
Chamber member Mark Buller said his business and his neighbor were both recently broken into. He said he got a sense there “was a lack of concern by the police officers who worked the crime scene.” The chief said a new policy is now in place where detectives will have to follow up and contact the business to inform them of the status of their investigation.
One major issue facing the police department is the low starting pay. The starting pay for a police officer is $10.38 an hour. After they become certified, they receive a $500 raise in salary. It costs the city $4000 to train and certify officers.
In other business, Suzie Lemoine informed chamber members of a host of activities planned at the new Ville Platte library including “Ask A Lawyer” where two attorneys will offer free legal advice on October 23. The library is open Monday, Thursday and Friday from 8-6, Tuesday-8-8, Wednesday from 10-6 and Saturday from 8-12 noon.
In other business the chamber:
- Approved two new members: Glen LeLeux and Dirt Cheap;
- Reminded chamber members that the annual Chamber sponsored Christmas parade is Sunday December 7 at 5:30pm.