Operation Safe Streets proves successful in Donaldsonville

DONALDSONVILLE, LA (WAFB) - Ascension Parish deputies made 132 arrests in a two-week period as part of Operation Safe Streets. It started in Donaldsonville to help put a dent in the increasing crime in Ascension Parish.

"A lot of changes since the police been patrolling," said Cassandra Joseph.

Joseph has lived in the D'ville neighborhood in Donaldsonville for the past six months. She remembers a time when she would not allow her four year old son outside or out of her sight, but now, "It's wonderful now, and I feel my children are in a safe environment," said Joseph.

All thanks to the past two weeks where Ascension Parish deputies have increased their presence, in some cases by four times, as part of Operation Safe Streets.

"In this small city, we started having armed robberies and street armed robberies. In one case, a kid on a bicycle was robbed," said Chief Deputy Tony Bacala.

Bacala said crimes like those really started to increase in May, so much so that Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan said action had to be taken.

"You would have fights and shootings even in the daytime," said Sullivan.

About a month ago, deputies investigated a murder of a 19-year-old in the D'ville neighborhood. Since then though, overall crime has decreased by 64 percent thanks to Operation Safe Streets.

"It's probably the biggest operation we've every had in Donaldsonville," said Bacala.

If you compare just the past two weeks to the three months before the operation, crimes against people are down 76 percent and property crimes are down 44 percent. It's also why many in the once crime-ridden neighborhood preferred to stay close to their homes or behind closed doors, but now, many have let their guards down.

Operation Safe Streets will go at least through the end of the month, if not longer.

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