St. Landry

Sep 13, 2013 7:35 PM by Akeam Ashford

Opelousas Residents Want To Know If Their Streets Are Safe

In less than a year, the Opelousas Police Department has lost 15 employees.

Some left because of retirement, terminations, and others for better paying jobs.

Police Chief Perry Gallow says, although his department could use another 13 officers, he has enough men and women on the streets to keep the city safe.

"We have a very committed department. We have men and women who do an outstanding job for the citizens of Opelousas," says Gallow.

Chief Gallow says, despite rumors, there wasn't a mass exodus from the department.

Since last November, Gallow says he's lost: three officers to retirement, five who got jobs outside law enforcement, one who died, two to terminations, and four who went to other law enforcement agencies.

Opelousas resident Rose Gallien says there can never be enough officers on the streets.

"It makes me feel unsafe. Due to the fact that I think we need more police officers on duty at all times," says Gallien.

Fellow Opelousas resident Paul Murphy says he doesn't feel the same way.

"I'm surprised that we lost that many within that year, because we have grown accustomed to good police work in the city of Opelousas," says Murphy.

Gallow has filled two of the positions, and is looking for more officers.

The rest of the positions won't be filled, however, because of budget cuts.

The Police Department lost $125,000 dollars in the final budget. The cut was among $500,000 dollars in across-the-board cuts made by the Opelousas city council.

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