APSO captain reports on west side calls for service

Michael Tortorich
Capt. Darryl Smith of the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office gives a report on call activity over recent months on the west side of the parish. Shown during the Donaldsonville City Council meeting are Councilmen Charles Brown and Lauthaught Delaney.

Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office Capt. Darryl Smith delivered a report on call activity over a seven-month period during the Tuesday, Nov. 12 Donaldsonville City Council meeting.

Spanning from April 1 to October 31, the area encompassing the west side of the parish recorded 5,214 calls for service.

Donaldsonville and unicorporated areas surrounding the city have been designated as District 1. Sheriff Bobby Webre established a new system, drawing three districts throughout the parish. Each of the districts contain three precincts.

The precincts are roughly bounded by the railroad tracks and the city limits.

Precinct 1 recorded 2,248 calls, while precinct 2 had 1,646, and precinct 3 took 1,320.

Smith reported no calls for homicides or suicides during the seven months. A total of 12 calls were received pertaining to deaths, but all were classified as "natural" causes.

Smith compiled a list of the top categories of calls. The most, with 810, were classified as disturbances. A total of 604 were recorded as assistance calls. Alarms represented 440 calls, while escorts were 434. Suspicious activity calls came in at 424. School walk-through calls totaled 355. Warrant arrests were 303. Accidents tallied 303. Traffic incidents were 275, and thefts came to 210.

In regard to wrecks, Smith said the numbers reflect whether the Sheriff's Office or State Police are called. He said State Police work incidents that happen on a state highway. The Sheriff's Office handles crashes on city roads.

In other matters before the Council Tuesday:

-- The Mayor and City Council discussed potential adjustments to the rental contract for use of the Lemann Center.

Mayor Leroy Sullivan Sr. said parties have been held at the venue where renters have been charging admission and selling alcohol, which is illegal without first obtaining a license.

"I'm tired of being lied to about the use of the Lemann Center," Sullivan said.

Misrepresentation of planned events puts the city and the Sheriff's Office in a "bad position," he added.

"We need to start holding people accountable," Sullivan said.

Called upon again to give insight, Smith said social media can be used to generate a large crowd quickly.

He added that many events draw crowds due to exposure from paid promoters. As many as 600 people could show up to any one event.

"They get creative and throw it out at the last minute," Smith said.

The city's attorney will explore possible changes to the rental contract.

-- The Donaldsonville Fire Department recently completed fire prevention week activities.

Jannet Chavez reported on the events held throughout the week, including use of the smoke trailer on loan from the Sorrento Fire Department.

She said the trailer helps children learn how to escape in the event of a fire.

Chavez said she is already looking into new ideas for next year, so children don't see the same activities every time.

"It's not just 'stop, drop, and roll.' It's a lot more than that," she told the Council.