Residents have mixed feelings over increased patrols in Donaldsonville

Residents have mixed feelings over increased patrols in Donaldsonville
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POSTED: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 4:38pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 4:40pm

It all started after a wave of violent crime hit the Donaldsonville area.

"It's simple batteries, it's assaults, but it was a significant increase and we just feel we need to put some effort into quelling that trend," said Ascension Parish Chief Deputy Tony Bacala,

The Sheriff's Department is going to start doubling and tripling the number of officers in the high crime areas they believe have fallen victim to gang activity. The increased presence is something deputies feel is essential.

"When you get on a downhill slide. It’s hard to stop, and we feel like we're just starting to see that slide, and we're not going to allow Donaldsonville to go into a tailspin," explained Bacala.

NBC33 spoke to several people in the higher crime areas who weren't willing to talk on camera, but they did tell us the violence is getting out of control. But not everyone in the area feels like they need extra patrols, business owner Kay Dugas said she hasn't noticed any recent spike in crime.

"I appreciate the fact that the Sheriff's Department is increasing patrol just for the safety. But in this area, in this shop. On this street, Railroad Avenue, we've never experienced any problems," explained Dugas.

Whether they need it or not, the people of Donaldsonville will soon be seeing a lot more of the ascension parish sheriff's office.

"It’s a small element of that community. That criminal element, that element that wants to bring gang activities to Donaldsonville. It’s that small element over there that we're going to target, and we're going to target them hard," Bacala warned.

The department will be able to put extra patrols in to the target neighborhoods by moving their resources around and paying deputies in overtime to be there.

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