Downtown Lafayette Unlimited, the agency that oversees development in the downtown district, has released a response following numerous media reports of crime in the area over the last week. An INDsider report Monday detailing proposals to target bars in the area, meanwhile, continues to generate heated debate in the comment section, most of it in favor of the bar owners.
DLU released the statement Monday afternoon:
We would like to respond to the recent reports concerning public safety in the Downtown District. The Downtown Development Authority and Downtown Lafayette Unlimited are continually and actively working with the city administration and the police department to address public safety needs Downtown, and they have our complete support and cooperation. We would like to commend Police Chief, Jim Craft and his department in apprehending criminals causing many of the Downtown issues.
As late night activities and crowds have grown, discussions have been ongoing as to what measures can help manage the environment to continue its safety and enjoyment. These discussions have included reconciling the drinking age of 21 with the entry age of 18, regulating open alcohol containers, and revisions to alcohol regulations as may be recommended by the police department. We are meeting with the administration and police department to evaluate these and other courses of action. We, of course, are not a regulatory agency and recognize that this is a process involving government, business and individuals.
Recent measures taken include: supplemental patrols, increased security on the weekends, the institution of a Downtown public awareness campaign, and efforts are underway to secure a space for a Downtown reporting station for the police department.
Downtown Lafayette is fortunate to be a bustling arts and entertainment district, which hosts thousands of attendees weekly. Everyone must do their part to ensure that Lafayette is setting the highest standards and utilizing resources in the most effective manner. We are pleased to have the support of Lafayette Consolidated Government and Lafayette Police Department in continuing to make Downtown a safe place to be.
Is it a crime for citizens to photograph, video, or take notes of a police officer in the line of duty, or a right protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? Locally, such activity, as witnessed recently, will at the very least result in a night spent behind bars.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
Episcopal School of Acadiana’s Dr. Joshua Caffery, chair of the school’s English Department, is headed to Washington, D.C., and the Library of Congress as the latest winner of the Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife Studies.