Volunteers in Police Service

At one time Lake Charles had training for volunteer handicapped parking enforcement. Does that still exist? If so, how and where can one apply?

Nearly 20 years ago, Lake Charles Police Department’s Community Policing Division operated a “Volunteers in Police Service” program.

“The volunteers were primarily tasked with issuing citations for individuals who were illegally parked,” Matt Young, public information officer for the city of Lake Charles, said. “This included handicap parking violations as well as parking meter violations.”

Young said volunteers were given safety vests and citation books after successfully completing a training program.

Since the cost of a handicap parking citation was increased from $25 to $250, the police department has seen a large decline in violations, Young said.

“Ultimately, the program was discontinued when the number of volunteers began declining,” he said.

School supply donations

DeWanna’s Closet recently had a community-wide school supply drive. Are the charter schools and private or parochial schools eligible to receive these school supplies, also?

“We work with any school served by the Calcasieu Parish School Board,” DeWanna Tarver, founder of DeWanna’s Community Closet, said in an email to The Informer.

The organization serves children ages 3 through high school, according to their website,dewannascloset.com.

“The need for uniforms, shoes, and supplies is not a demographic one — it is parish-wide,” the website reads. “And it’s not as simple of an issue as neglect, but one of hardworking parents, grandparents, and the rising demand for more supplies every year. Students have enough distractions in and out of the classroom every day that hinder their learning environments.

DeWanna’s Closet aims to eliminate one of those distractions by making sure students are equipped for the classroom every day.”

Everything the group distributes is new, and ready for students upon delivery.

The Informer answers questions from readers. It is written by Crystal Stevenson, American Press executive editor. To ask a question, call 494 4098 and leave a voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com.

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