Last Modified: Thursday, June 07, 2012 1:40 PM
WELSH — Police Chief Tommy Chaisson defended a controversial interstate traffic enforcement detail program Tuesday saying it does not take away from regular patrols and that TED always comes second to other duties.
"TED has nothing to do with patrols in town," Chaisson said. "We don't take any manpower from patrolling the town. These are off-duty officers who have a chance to make some extra money for themselves and the town."
Chaisson said he has always vowed that the town would never be short on patrols so officers can work the TED program which targets traffic and drug violators on Interstate 10.
"These are off-duty officers, so we are not taking police officers on the clock to patrol I-10," he said.
Since March, five officers have worked 506 hours on the TED program, Chaisson said.
The officers issued 841 citations from March to May, he said.
Money from traffic citations is placed into the town's general fund, with the police department using about $60,000 of it for payroll and payroll related expenses for the TED program. The department also uses the money to buy vehicles and equipment.
TED generated $125,006 from June 1, 2011 to April 30, 2010, according to town clerk Linda LeBlanc.
The City Council denied a request Tuesday from Police Chief to give officers the option to work the TED program 6 or 12 hours.
Officers currently volunteer to work the program for $25 a hour for a 6 hour shift on their days off.
According to the TED policy, officers must complete their regular shifts before working TED. An officer cannot call in sick for a regular shift, then work TED.
Chaisson said increasing the shifts from 6 to 12 hours would be more beneficial for the officers, some who drive a long way, including one officer who lives in DeRidder.
"I am against going to 12 hours for the simple reason of what is not taking place," Alderman Charles Drake said. "Welsh has three murders and a lot of break-ins, but it seems the emphasis is going to the TED program. I can't go 12 hours when when our citizens are unhappy. Our citizens have to come first."
Alderman Becky Hudson agreed saying what goes on in town should take first priority.
Posted By: Jeff Davis resident On: 6/6/2012
Title: Chief......PRIORITIES ARE WRONG HERE
"TED has nothing to do with patrols in town," Chaisson said. "We don't take any manpower from patrolling the town. These are off-duty officers who have a chance to make some extra money for themselves and the town." - CHIEF
The operations on the interstate is suppose to have public safety in mind first and foremost. They're main objective here is suppose to be making the interstate safer, but it's nothing more than trying to milk people passing through like a toll station. Pay to pass through welsh so we can get some money. Same typical itty bitty town moves. It should be illegal for small towns like Welsh to even operate on the interstate, all they are doing is looking for paydays not protecting motorist. Think I'm lying just look at the chief's comments above. SMH
Posted By: Dragon On: 6/6/2012
No problem.........but what most of us don't like, though we are use to it...........is the use of vehicles that look as if they are parked on the shoulder, with no emergency lights.........yeah, I like that they bust those who are flying by us........but, seems like they're a danger on the roadway........just waiting for someone to rear end one of them.......and yes it is going to happen.........