Hit about 7 houses today, with great conversation and insight. A couple of people were very concerned specifically about drugs, and wanted to know what I would do about the problem. First, I would acknowledge that Arnaudville PD is under-equipped and may be under-staffed at any given day, due to a chronic problem with employee retention. I would address both problems simultaneously.
Our resources are limited, and that is why it is critical that we have great working relationships with our counterparts in towns around us. While we rebuild and realign our organization, It is my intent to work hard to acquire the kind of resources we need to do our jobs properly.
Regarding the personnel, I am not saying that employees are not well intended, or that we have not had qualified personnel. But, with the large turnover, there is a tremendous amount of lost time, because there is a constant need to train and re-train, orientate, etc. This has an negative impact on the overall quality of our department, and adds to the perception that the organization is floundering, and lacks cohesiveness. It takes someone with experience to understand how to identify and utilize the strengths in each person, and identify and work in a proactive way on the weaknesses. It requires someone who knows how to recruit, how to retain quality officers, and how to build a team.
When one of the men I visited pointed out that drug dealers are brought to jail, but then let out, I cannot accurately speak on that, other than to say when reports are not well written, and evidence is not gathered that will support a well-documented police report, D.A.s are not likely to prosecute. This may be one reason the individual is set free. If elected, the first training I will impose will be report writing and proper documentation of every single stop that is made, whether a ticket is issued or not.
I welcome the questions, but more than that, I welcome the input, and will certainly welcome the eyes and ears of the public when it comes to crime in our town. Believe me, I have just as much of a vested interest in this issue as anyone -- I have a teenage son, and don't want these low-lifes anywhere near him.