Budget cuts have resulted in the elimination of 11 positions in the Ville Platte Police Department.
Chief Neal Lartigue confirmed that a restructuring of the budget called for some cuts.
Seven police officer positions were cut, he said. Three already were vacant and won’t be filled along with four cadets waiting to attend the police academy, he said.
Also losing their jobs are two custodians and two part-time workers, he said.
“No active officer who was working the streets was laid off,” the chief said. “We are going to end up with 12 officers working the streets. So, we’re still in good shape.”
Lartigue said he feels he still has enough officers to patrol the town properly.
“It bothers me, but we have to make the cutbacks to stay in line with the budget,” he said.
Arthur Sampson, a Ville Platte resident, says the city should have looked at other options before making these cuts.
“I just feel like it’s wrong that he’s cutting the police department. I think they need to look at everything across the board. I understand the police department may be over in some areas, but I think the city needs to look at what’s going on at city hall, too. I think they’re putting everything on the police department, which the police we need more than anything,” Sampson said.
KATC attempted to reach Mayor Jennifer Vidrine for comment on Tuesday. We caught up with her at a basketball game and asked for an interview. Vidrine declined the interview, saying that the basketball game was about to begin.