Last Modified: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 10:56 PM
On Sept. 5, the American Press reported that 35 Lake Charles city police officers were in court for a bail hearing on Joseph Bargeman, charged with rape, and that the officers were not there at the request of the state or the defense.
Were these officers being paid by the city of Lake Charles for the time they were in court, either by it being their shift or overtime? If any were off duty, were they compensated in any way? How many officers were out patrolling the city while these 35 officers sat in court?
The officers who were on duty were paid, but none of them earned overtime, said Deputy Chief Mark Kraus. Any officers who were off duty received no compensation, he said.
Most of the officers who attended the hearing were detectives, drug task force members and neighborhood policing officers, Kraus said. Only two of the attending officers were assigned to patrol duty, and one of them was a patrol supervisor, he said.
Twenty officers were on patrol at the time, Kraus said.
The Informer recently wrote about how high salinity levels in the marsh had prompted the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority to close the Grand Bayou boat bay on the east side of Calcasieu Lake, cutting off access to Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge’s East Cove Unit.
Chuck Perrodin, spokesman for the CPRA, on Monday emailed The Informer to announce “good news — at least temporarily.”
“Rainfall is enabling us to open the boat bay tomorrow morning at Grand Bayou for the first time in many months,” Perrodin wrote. “However, the opening to the refuge may be short-lived if we don’t get more rainfall and north winds.”
He sent along the text of the message people will hear when they call the refuge access line, 855-532-9955:
The Grand Bayou boat bay in the Cameron Creole Watershed and the East Cove Unit of Cameron Prairie Refuge will be temporarily reopened to alleviate flooding from recent rains at sunrise on Tuesday, Sept. 24. However, because salinities in the watershed are still above target levels, the boat bay will likely be closed again at some point in the near future. Check back often for updates. If you have any further questions, please contact Chuck Perrodin, public information officer for Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, at 225-342-7615.Online: http://coastal.louisiana.gov.
The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email firstname.lastname@example.org