Iberville Parish officials discuss combating juvenile crime, illegal guns on streets in Plaquemine town hall
PLAQUEMINE, La. (WAFB) - As Baton Rouge quickly earns its street nickname, ‘Gotham City,’ across the river, some officials did not mince words at a meeting on crime Tuesday night.
“We do not want to become the next Baton Rouge, and that’s what we’re trying to avoid tonight,” said Plaquemine Mayor Ed Reeves.
Plaquemine city officials, along with the Iberville Parish sheriff and 18th Judicial District Attorney, held a community meeting at city hall to talk about what’s being done to keep everyone safe and address the root cause of crime.
18th Judicial District Attorney Tony Clayton did not hold back, while speaking to residents about the rise in crime on the west side of the river.
“I’m going to cut right to the chase, we have a serious issue when it comes to our little town. But we can fix it,” said DA Tony Clayton.
The district attorney showed members of the community, music videos of local teenagers holding numerous illegal guns on the streets of Plaquemine.
“When you’re watching these weapons on these videos, those are a lot of the same weapons that are being used to commit homicides,” said D.A. Tony Clayton.
“They not over there with a ‘Saturday night special’ with one bullet, they coming to spray the house. They don’t care who or what they kill,” said Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi.
Sheriff Brett Stassi says illegal guns on the streets, is just one of the issues.
“I showed the ‘Saturday night special’ today. We are being out-gunned by the people in the street,” said Sheriff Stassi.
Mr. Clayton says a lot of the crimes on the west side of the river and in his district, are being done by juveniles. That’s why he wants to build a sort of detention facility, to house them and educate them.
“And once we’re able to take them and detain them, and take them out of our communities, you’ll see a drastic drop in the crime,” said Clayton.
And citizens had some ideas and comments of their own, on the rising crime in the area.
“These children are being mentored by people who don’t follow the law,” said one resident.
“We should have an agenda that’s going to work for us. All of us,” said another resident.
“It’s not about the black, or the white, or the purple, or the blue, it’s about coming together and making this beautiful city thrive,” said another resident.
“Tonight, you saw the community, they gave us a bunch of ideas, and we’re going to listen to the community. And we’re going to go back and re-group, and come back and keep fighting it again,” said Clayton.
A lot of people said that they are hoping for more youth programs, mentorship programs, job opportunities for teens, and also more recreation facilities in parts of Plaquemine, so that teenagers can go there after school or during the summertime, to keep them from getting in trouble.
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