City of Abbeville asking for public's help in fighting crime - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

City of Abbeville asking for public's help in fighting crime

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Increased police patrols are one of the decisions the Abbeville City Council made today to try and fight violence in the city.     

A vigil was held this evening for the 14-year-old boy who was murdered there last week. The vigil follows some news from a special council meeting this morning in Abbeville.

The council voted to make any necessary funds available to the police during their investigations in order to pay officers for patrolling overtime in hopes to catch and stop offenders.

Before the vote, residents, council members and the police chief shared their views on the matter.

The vote passed, so the police can have a heavier presence in the city, but the consensus was clear.

"It starts in the home, folks, and police can only do so much. We can do only so much," said Councilman Francis Plaisance.

Abbeville Chief of Police Tony Hardy says officers are already working longer days since last week, but they can't keep the community 100% safe all on their own.

"We need the public's help. Without the public's help, it's a losing battle," said Chief Hardy. 

Hardy says more than half of the violence involves juveniles, and a child's behavior - good or bad - starts with the family.

"It starts in the home, and until the parents do their part and give us a hand, help the police, we can only do so much. So, we need the parents' help.," said the Abbeville police chief. 

A retired New Orleans police officer and a criminal justice expert weighed in at the meeting. James Ruiz says this is a problem new to Abbeville but familiar for most of the world. The best-proven solution is a team effort from the police and the public.

"The police are only as good as the information they get from the public. They're not clairvoyant; they need information," said Ruiz.

"Just keep your eyes open. If you see something irregular or some kid that you don't think he should be on the street, even if it's not your business, make it your business. Just call the police, and say, 'Look, this child's on the street. He has no business on the street at this time of night. Please come and check it out,'" asserts Hardy. 

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