Gonzales: Councilman Lacombe requests money for police department

Gonzales: Councilman Lacombe requests money for police department

GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - The tables turned in Gonzales Wednesday with a fiery special council meeting.

Gary Lacombe pointed the finger at the Gonzales Police Chief Sherman Jackson and the rest of the council saying they were the reason the police department did not have the money to buy new police cars. Just one day before, the registrar said they had enough signatures on the petition to recall Lacombe.

At the special council meeting, Lacombe said it was brought to his attention on Monday that the police department is in dire need of new cars and that the council was putting public safety at jeopardy. He blamed the council and Chief Sherman for still not having ordered new cars.

"You had the opportunity to mitigate bad cars in June, July and August and September and nothing's been done and all of a sudden you're going to say that embattled councilman won't approve a budget. I'm here to show you right here right now that you have had an opportunity to do it and nothing's been done," said Lacombe.

However, in April, Lacombe cut the police department's budget by more than $100,000. Councilman Kenny Matassa was quick to defend the council and police chief.

"I think he's told you we've been talking about this for four months. I've been at this meeting. I don't know what meeting you've been at, but I've been hearing it for four months that he needs nine new police cars and that they're broken down. They're in bad shape. They got high mileage. What do you hear? What do you hear at the meetings?" asked Matassa.

Lacombe asked that an amendment be added to the general budget that would give just enough money to the police department to be able to buy the new police cars Chief Sherman is requesting.

The council will vote on that in two weeks, but Mayor Barney Arceneaux still has the ability to veto it.

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