The streets of New Iberia will be a little busier starting Sunday. It’s because the New Iberia Police Department will begin patrolling that morning. Before that happens, there’s training to be done. The 65 new officers have been training at New Iberia Senior High for about a week and a half, and today, they wrapped things up working with Acadiana Crime Lab, learning to handle evidence. It’s been months coming, but the chief says his officers are ready to hit the streets.
"I’ve got a group of people walking around ready to get to work," says Chief Todd D’Albor.
As their July 1 start date approaches, the New Iberia Police Department is eager to get going, and those who are instructing them say what they’re learning in training is vital for what’s to come.
"In terms of collecting DNA profiles, in terms of making proper comparisons with firearms evidence, in terms of identifying unknown drug substances, we can do quality work in those areas if we have quality evidence coming in, so that’s why this is so important that we have this training that we have, this relationship, and we want it to get off on the right foot," says Acadiana Crime Lab Director Kevin Ardoin.
The Acadiana Crime Lab is just one agency the department is building a relationship with. Officers spent the past few weeks learning from many of the officials they will start to see day to day.
"We’re here to make sure our team understands the philosophy of community policing, but not only that, learn the different things we need to do as police officers to do our jobs correctly, so it’s an opportunity to see the teamwork all as one," says D’Albor.
While the New Iberia Police Department is already working as a team, Chief D’Albor says he’s most excited to see teamwork between his officers and the community when these cars hit the streets on Sunday.
"There’s an excitement from the community, which I’m excited about because it’s no longer us versus them. Now, we have an opportunity to get this right, and we’re going to get this right," says D’Albor.
Six a.m. Sunday morning, officers will hit the streets. Chief D’Albor says he’s looking forward to building a positive partnership between his officers and the community.