Ville Platte City Council talks crime app and pot holes
A new crime tip app was introduced at Tuesday’s council meeting in Ville Platte. Additionally the council discussed repairing roads and installing new street cameras.
Tip Ville Platte is the new app that allows concerned citizens to anonymously report suspicious activity or information about a crime. The app is available for iPhone and Android. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine reminded citizens “If you see something, say something.” She said there are young children and teens with guns and their parents do not know. She added that parents need to search their child’s rooms, even if they do not want to invade their privacy. She said, “It’s better to open the door to their rooms than close the lids on their caskets.” The mayor is afraid these kids are going to hit the wrong house and wind up getting killed. “Then you, the parent, will have to live with that, and the person who killed them will have to live with that.” She encouraged everyone to install the Tip Ville Platte app on their phones.
In other action, the council discussed police hires. Police Chief Neil Lartigue looked into dividing up the dispatcher salaries since police dispatch is now being handled by 911. He previously agreed to use the retiring Assistant Chief’s salary to give officers a pay raise. The Chief said he is working out dispersing the dispatch salaries, but would also have to take into account retirement pay. He and the council are aiming to raise officer salaries to $15 an hour to keep them in Ville Platte instead of transferring to other cities for better pay. The current starting salary for an officer is $11.63 an hour.
Mayor Vidrine also announced there will be new street cameras to help curb crime in Ville Platte. The new cameras will have their own band width and will have night vision. She said the cameras will be installed in secret locations.
The council also discussed pot holes in roads around the city. Resident Arthur Sampson was on the agenda to speak about the road conditions. He chastised the council for not doing more to repair the roads. Sampson referenced the mayor’s Facebook post the prior day where she asked citizens to call City Hall to report pot holes. Sampson told the council they should know which roads are bad because they drive them every day. He said the council should be reporting them.
Councilman Mike Perron took issue with Sampson’s statement, saying, “You don’t think we report them?” The two exchanged words with tension rising, culminating with Perron saying, “Don’t start with me, Arthur.” Mayor Vidrine called the room to order and told Sampson to respect the councilmen. After Sampson spoke about the pot holes, Vidrine reminded citizens to call City Hall to report any road issues. Later, Perron apologized to the room for his verbal altercation.
In other business, Connie Lamke requested the block between Main Street and Magnolia to be closed Saturday afternoon/night, May 16th for a street dance. The council approved.
In her closing comments, Vidrine reminded residents to pay their property taxes which were due on January 31st. She said they are now in the collection phase, and late fees have been added.