Police department’s budget causes woes in Pine Prairie
By: HEATHER BOGARD
PINE PRAIRIE - The Pine Prairie Village Council held a special meeting October 27, to discuss the police department budget and bring it within five percent by the end of the year.
Village CPA Michael Johnson made several recommendations to Chief L.C. Deshotel in order to bring the budget within five percent, including laying off Assistant Chief of Police Rick Ordner and prohibiting the personal use of the police chief’s unit.
Mayor Terry Savant said two officers will be patrolling the village 12 hours a day from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Sheriff Eddie Soileau offered the village assistance in the form of deputy patrol from 7:30 p.m. until midnight. After midnight, Soileau said, residents can call the sheriff’s office or 911 for assistance. He said he is willing to help the village as much as he can until things get better and back on track. He told the council he could make someone available four days a week and to let him know which days the village would need extra night patrol. The council stated Thursday through Sunday nights probably would be the days needing extra patrol at night. The council and police department will discuss this and get back with the sheriff to set up a schedule.
Savant said safety is a main concern, but reiterated this is being done to get the police department’s budget under control by January 1, when the new administration and new chief take over. He also stressed this is not his or the council’s fault, but they are working to correct the problem and get the budget where it needs to be.
The council approved the recommendations made by Johnson and rehired Brady A. LaPoint as a part-time/day-time officer for the Village of Pine Prairie.