Lafayette, LA (KPEL News) - Reports of violent crime have flooded the news in Louisiana, and Lafayette has unfortunately fallen in line with those statistics. Mayor-President Monique Blanco Boulet announced early in her transition that Lafayette Police Chief Judith Estorge would continue to lead the department, and the chief issued a video statement about how she plans to tackle violent crime, especially after a record year for murder.

In 2023, 29 people were murdered in the city of Lafayette.

Chief Estorge, in her written and video message, says that the number of overall crimes committed in 2023 has gone down, but the number of homicides reached record levels.

She warned that people who illegally carry and discharge firearms will face the full weight of the legal system.

Stopping these crimes before they happen is a challenge, but Chief Estorge noted two specific tactics her department is taking to combat the problem:

  • The placement of more than 100 cameras throughout the city.
  • Deployment of more officers in areas of high crime activity.

She closed her message with a call to action for Lafayette residents:

If you see something, I urge you to call 911 immediately. Regardless if it is a major incident or a minor suspicious activity, the safety of this community is our top priority.

Chief Estorge's Full Written Message

I’m Chief Judith Estorge of the Lafayette Police Department. As we all know, 2023 has been a historic and tragic year for our community—as it relates to violent crime.

While our city has seen a decrease in overall crimes committed, we have witnessed a record number of homicides last year. Domestic violence, juvenile crimes, lack of proper conflict resolution, social media engagement, and several other factors have all contributed to these acts of deadly violence.

The safety and well-being of our community is the number one goal of The Lafayette Police Department. And while it may not be easy, please know that we are working diligently to gain your trust, support and cooperation.

Going forward into this new year with the support of Mayor President Monique Blanco-Boulet, The Lafayette Police Department, under my direction, has begun to implement tactics and strategies that are specifically designed to combat the violence we experienced in 2023.

Some of these tactics include the placement of over 100 police cameras throughout the city, and deploying more officers to areas of high crime activity. These, and other tactics, will aid us in locating individuals who are illegally carrying and discharging firearms—in hopes that we can reduce the gun violence. I can assure you that individuals who elect to commit these crimes of violence will be arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

The loss of any life here in our community is tragic. And our officers have worked diligently and tirelessly to solve crimes, and bring some sense of closure to the families affected by these senseless murders. But solving the crimes committed is not enough…

This is our community, and it will take a cooperative effort between The Lafayette Police Department and every concerned citizen to stop criminal activity from occurring. We must ALL work together as a community to try our best to PREVENT these horrible acts of violence.

If you see something, I urge you to call 911 immediately. Regardless if it is a major incident or a minor suspicious activity, the safety of this community is our top priority. Thank you and have a blessed day.

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