Public Records – Why the Change?

   

A response from the Lafayette Police Department on a recent public records request revealed a significant change in the information being disseminated to the public. Now we want to know why!

Citizens for a New Louisiana recently requested records pertaining to a single incident which occurred in December of 2020. The information contained in the response was significantly changed when compared to the same record obtained in December of 2020 (before Chief Glover was appointed Chief). Most notably absent was the “synopsis” previously contained in the record. (The part that provides the details about the incident). That portion of the record has been replaced with a section entitled “initial report (released to the public)”.

There now appears to be two distinctly different initial reports; one that is devoid of information which is available to the public and the more detailed version which is being kept from the public. But why the change?

Transparency down, crime up

The lack of transparency surrounding the recent ousting of Chief Thomas Glover certainly hasn’t made identifying the reason for the change any clearer; but could they be related? What we do know is that according to the 2020 FBI crime statics published in September of 2021, the Lafayette Police Department reported increases in both violent crimes (7.23%) and property crimes (4.78%) when compared to the previous year. Contributing to the increase was an 9.88% increase in aggravated assaults/batteries and a 27.41% increase in motor vehicles thefts. The number of murders this year eclipsed the total number of murders for 2020 back in September.

Do the increases in crime statistics correspond to the decrease in crime transparency?

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Citizens for a New Louisiana is the only organization in Louisiana dedicated to reforming local government. With the help of numerous volunteers we are making some progress. However, there’s much more work we could be doing. Making a difference will take a little more than reading an article every now and then. Your community doesn’t need another spectator. They need someone willing to step onto the field and become a real part of the solution. Will you join us?

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