In just over a week, the City of Opelousas will elect a new police chief. The two men in the runoff, Martin McLendon and Graig LeBlanc, are making a final push before the Dec. 8 election.
“I live in the heart of where the crime takes place. Out of all of the candidates in the race, I’m the only one that the people will be able to tell you exactly where I live at. I’ve been in the community my entire life,” McLendon said.
“I’m just out there, reaching the people, just talking to people, going into homes. Just talking to people. Giving them what I want to do, giving them my platforms, giving them my experience,” LeBlanc said.
Both candidates agree that the people of Opelousas are their number one priority. They say their different experiences within the Opelousas Police Department is why they’re more qualified.
“I’ve led and worked in every area of the police department when my opponent has basically spent his career in one area of law enforcement,” LeBlanc said.
“Experience, integrity and discipline are what sets us apart. No matter what anybody says, they know I have the experience. I just didn’t stay there for 27 years by sitting behind a desk,” McLendon said.
Both candidates have plans for if they win office on December 8.
“We want to bring about a transformation, and we want to restore faith between law enforcement and the community. And, we want to restore hope that our police department will not fail the community when they are called upon,” McLendon said.
“We have to attack the crime rate in Opelousas from many different areas. We are going to have to bring in some outside resources for treatment, prevention, and education. We are going to have to work together as a community,” LeBlanc said.