Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $150,000)
Lafayette Parish is located centrally within the eight parish Acadiana Region. There are approximately 1.4 million residents with 250,000 residing in Lafayette Parish. The driving violence in this area is gun violence, aggravated batteries, aggravated assaults, drive by shootings and homicide. Lafayette has one of the highest overall crime rates of any city. The state murder rate, 11.7/100,000 residents, is more than double the national murder rate, 5.0/100,000 residents. The state violent crime rate, 549/100,000, is also higher than the national violent crime rate, 379/100,000. These statistics were gathered from FBI Crime Data. LPSO reports crime data to the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement who then sends information to the National Incident Based Reporting System in accordance with the direction of the FBI.
LPSO deputies currently do not have and will never have the ability to be patrolling in all areas at all times. This translates to a gap in situational awareness, an integral public safety practice. Through the development of a regional state-of-the-art Real Time Crime Center and the camera system being used by law enforcement in the area, strides are being made in the direction of reducing crime in Lafayette Parish and the surrounding areas. Another facet that would increase the ability of LPSO to enhance situational awareness, would be the enhancement of weather proof secure cameras. The proposed project would increase situational awareness as the camera feeds can be accessed rapidly and be monitored by specific agents or by the RTCC analysts in real time or through recordings.