St. Landry Parish law enforcement to receive $1.8 million to improve technology

ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) — Law enforcement agencies across St. Landry Parish are receiving some much-needed assistance after being awarded federal funding to go towards new equipment and improved technology.

“We went around, and we talked to each agency and asked them what their wish list would be,” Parish President Jessie Bellard said. “Everyone who came up with their list, everything that they asked for was received and approved.”

Working with senator Bill Cassidy in Washington, Bellard said the parish secured $1.8 million in federal funding dedicated to fulfilling the needs of every law enforcement agency in the parish.

“In-car cameras, body cameras, radios, tasers, satellite communications, and thermal imaging equipment,” Bellard said.

“Technology today is law enforcement’s friend,” St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said. “And with the help from the federal government, getting this money as a huge step for all of us.”

With new equipment available for purchase, it’s helping smaller departments throughout the parish, including the Eunice and Opelousas Police Departments who were recently able to add license plate readers to the city.

“You want to run your department efficiently,” Eunice Police Chief Kyle LeBouef said. “Well, to run it efficiently, it takes money. And these smaller departments, you know, don’t have access to large budgets. So, with the federal government’s assistance, we’re able to get this money.”

“That’s money that they don’t have to spend, that maybe they could save and buy a unit or two for their department,” Bellard said.

While new equipment will help these agencies get their jobs done more efficiently, it will also help keep officers safe, and ensure that law enforcement in St. Landry Parish continues grow.

“It’s a much-needed list for our men and women that serve and protect our communities every day,” Opelousas police chief Graig LeBlanc said. “Their lives are just as important as the ones that we protect.”

“We certainly need it,” Guidroz said. “We welcome it. It certainly helps, $1.8 million for St. Landry parish is a blessing.”

The federal funding is expected to come this summer.

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