Lafayette, Louisiana is one of the greatest communities in our country, but I'm probably biased because I was born and raised here.

We have been recognized for being the "Happiest City in America" along with other accolades over the years.

Lafayette is home to wonderful entertainment, restaurants and a great way of life, but everything isn't always perfect.

No one wants to think about trouble in their town, but a Facebook page offers more insight into what goes on in Lafayette that we may not know about.

The name of the Facebook page is the Police Association of Lafayette Local #905, and there are frequently posts to this page about what kind of crime is happening in Lafayette.

The posts aren't just from random, uninformed individuals. The information that is placed there is confirmed by law enforcement.

If you care about Lafayette, it might be a page that you want to follow because it offers insight into exactly what officers have to face on a daily basis, and those items might not make it to the news.

One item from that Facebook page that we did report about was the shortage of officers at the Lafayette Police Department.

Some elected officials are worried that this page is about "playing politics". That was part of the comments Lafayette City Parish Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux made about the page in a KATC interview.

Lafayette City Parish Councilman Jay Castille said in that KATC report that he is disappointed that union officials didn't come to speak to them to discuss the issue.

I will reach out to both council members to ask them why giving the public information about the crimes and events that are happening in their town is a bad idea. I also ask you, are you bothered by a Facebook page that gives factual information about crimes that are happening? Is knowledge power? Does it help you to know what is going on in your city?

One of the issues on the Police Association page talks about the shortage of officers, but it's not like it's any secret that there is a shortage of manpower within the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office and the Lafayette Police Department.

I remember talking to several times to former Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft about this issue, and mostly recently with current Chief Toby Aguillard, so why are the feathers of the council members ruffled.

The shortage of officers and deputies is one of the reasons that Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mark Garber has asked for voters to agree to reapportion part of a penny sales tax issue when they go to vote on December 8.

The penny sales tax would be reduced to 3/4 of a penny, but the tax would then apply to more people, thus increasing the revenue collected.

The revenue would be split 50/50 between the Lafayette Police Department and the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office.

We have spoken in the recent past to Councilmen Jay Castille and Kenneth Boudreaux about these issues and others when it comes to protecting the residents of the city and unincorporated areas of the parish.

If voters approve the change, instead of the unincorporated areas of the parish paying the one penny sales tax, the whole parish (including the city of Lafayette) would pay 3/4 of a penny sales tax.

Tax collection from this sales tax would go from $4.7 million last year to around $38 million.

There will also likely be plenty of discussion about this issue on KPEL, other media outlets and social media about the pros and cons of making the change.

Voters will get to decide the issue this December.

In the meantime, I will be checking the Police Association Facebook each day like I already do so that I can get information about what is happening in Lafayette.









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