Town of Elton faces police shortage

by Brandon Richards

ELTON, LA (KPLC) - For the small community of Elton, it's an issue almost everyone seems familar with: the police shortage.

Elton Police Chief Chad Carrier says the police shortage has plagued his department for the last three years. Carrier says he has a difficult time keeping officers because the lack of benefits that come with the job.

"These officers, they're offered no kind of incentives to stay here," Carrier said.

Carrier says many of the officers who come through his door don't stay long, and more often than not, use the job as a "training ground" so they can get a better-paying position in a larger community. Carrier says this problem is not unique to Elton, but he says it doesn't have to be this bad.

Carrier says he's pleaded with the city council for more money for his department, but has been told the town has no more money to spare.

"That's the answer I've been given --lack of funds," Carrier said.

To make matters worse, Carrier's department doesn't have enough funds to keep all of its police vehicles up and running. Currently, one vehicle is in the shop and four are sitting in a fenced field near city hall, in need of major repair.

"Our [police cars are] the same as our officers, they're depleting," Carrier said. "I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel at this point."

Carrier says he has no choice but to do the best he can with what little his department has.

Many residents of Elton blame the mayor and city council for the police shortage and for other problems facing the community. An annonomous letter has been circulating around town bashing the mayor and city council and calling for towns people to become more involved in local issues.