LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Lafayette police and city officials are asking for the community’s support in the ongoing battle against crime.
During a news conference held Thursday, both police and the city agreed the majority of violent crimes in the area are drug driven. Now they’ve made a plan to combat the problem, including hiring more officers.
Lafayette police is adding five officers and one dispatcher that will be dedicated to the drug task force and the street crimes unit.
Another program will allow every officer living within city limits to take their squad car home.
The goal is to increase officer interaction in the community, but police and city officials said the community plays an important part in fighting crime by educating themselves about crime and when to report it.
“We want to educate the community about what they can do to make it more difficult to expose criminals, when they’re going to go out and car hop at night, to know that people are watching and they’re going to call,” Lafayette Police Chief Patrick Flannelly said.
“Really get involved with us,” said Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski. “Be on that neighborhood watch, turn on your porch light, watch for crime, join NextDoor. See what’s going on.”
The City of Lafayette announced its parking enforcement will expand its coverage beyond downtown to cover nearby neighborhoods. Roswarski said this will free up police; and instead of enforcing parking and code violations, they can focus on crime prevention.
The city is also using a new state law to deal with the number of abandoned properties. The abandoned property tax can speed up the sale of the properties so responsible property owners can buy them at a reasonable price.
Roswarski said the sale of the properties will help encourage investments that will improve the neighborhood and lower crime.
Flannelly said the department will continue to hold these news conferences to update the public on the effort to fight crime.