City of LC discusses adding civil penalty to crimes - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

City of LC discusses adding civil penalty to crimes

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

For 2013 overall crime in Lake Charles was up by 4 percent. According to the numbers, burglaries and theft were up 8 percent.

"Especially in my district, we've had a rash of misdemeanor thefts and petty crimes. It's gotten to the point, where neighborhoods are actually pitching in and buying more security for their neighborhood," said John Ieyoub, Lake Charles City Council.

Ieyoub introduced an ordinance Tuesday night that would add a civil penalty on top of the criminal penalty already on the books.

"The police officers see these criminals over and over again... And their wrap sheets get longer and longer and this will just add an extra layer of penalty for doing these crimes - that are so annoying and really violate our rights as citizens here in Lake Charles," said Ieyoub.

Chief Don Dixon said it's all about accountability. Dixon said the perfect example is the recent drug arrests of Operation 27.

"You know when we have an operation that goes on for 9 months on a guy who has been arrested 27 times and has been convicted numerous times -- the system is broken," said Dixon.

While a lot of ideas are being discussed, there will likely be additional fines and community service -- something Dixon believes will do the criminals good.

"Paying a fine is one thing, but if you go out there and pick up trash on a 95 degree day - I think a lesson is learned. I don't think you are going to do that again. Me personally - I just think that's what needs to be done," said Dixon.

Councilman Ieyoub said he's collaborating with the Mayor's Office, the Calcasieu District Attorney's Office, and Lake Charles Police on the added penalties. He said they're still discussing the details.

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