Cracking down on crime in Jennings

By Lee Peck - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -- After a rash of recent shootings and a violent rape behind the bingo hall, Jennings city officials have formed a crime tip line for anonymous calls. It's in direct response to calls for action by local pastors and the community who say enough is enough. Jennings Mayor Terry Duhon says they're working with other agencies to help with patrols.

"We feel that we can maintain what we are doing right plus more so expect to see it -- because it's going to happen," said Mayor Duhon.

What's also going to happen -- the installation of GPS devices in every police unit that will ensure all areas are being patrolled equally, especially the crime-infested south side of town.

"This time I'll be able to look up dates, times, everything for you and be able to answer your questions a lot more directly to give you a very truthful answer. And if we didn't have an officer in that area... I'll correct that problem," said Jennings Police Chief Johnny Lassiter.

"We all know that the problem here is drugs and I'm sure a lot of these murders are drug-related. These last shootings we had -- all concerning drugs," said Jesse Ewing.

Mayor Duhon says they've also hired a new narcotics officer with more than 20-years of experience -- but everyone knows it will take a team effort to get the drugs and crime off the streets.

"And it's caused this community to have a black eye to the rest of the world, but I think coming together will make this community the envy of everyone throughout this nation. Because it's going to show how the government citizens, churches and everyone working together can really solve a problem," said Jeff Davis Parish District Attorney Michael Cassidy.

Reverend Gerald Perkins is pleased with the progress over the last month, but recognizes they still have a long way to go.

"As Mr. Cassidy said -- we have a great city -- but there is a oneness that must take place and the goal should be for us to strive to live in peace," said Rev. Perkins.

We're told all of those GPS units will be installed within the next two weeks. Also the crime tip line to call is 275-9002. A calls are kept confidential.