Oct 16, 2011 11:48 AM by Chris Welty
OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) - The Opelousas Board of Aldermen is taking
a tough look at the cost of paying police to staff festival
The Daily World reported (http://bit.ly/dailyworld11112) the
board has not yet adopted a city budget. Its fiscal year began on
Police Chief Perry Gallow told the board he cannot provide
officers to police parades if the city or organizations sponsoring
parades do not reimburse his department.
Policing parades traditionally is funded by overtime and the
police department. Gallow said department funding only permits it
to pay for handling service calls.
Other cities have a line item devoted to paying for special
event-patrolling, Gallow said.
Along with fall festivals, patrolling the Opelousas Christmas
parade, Mardi Gras and Martin Luther King Jr. Day will cost $20,000
annually, he said.
"You're asking us to give you more money to patrol the streets?
Financially, we're crunching numbers right now and you're asking us
to find another $20,000?" Alderman and finance committee chairman
Julius Alsandor said. "We found $100,000 to give our police
department the money to pay for 2.5 percent raise. You can't find
$20,000 in your budget?"
Gallow said no. The issue will be discussed in the finance
committee before the Yambaliee parade on Oct. 30.
"We know the officers won't be working out there for free. They
have to get paid," Alsandor said. "The parades will go on."