Crime task force to continue in Donaldsonville: Ascension Parish captain

Michael Tortorich
Donaldsonville Chief
The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office logo is shown on a vehicle parked at the Donaldsonville municipal building.

The crime task force that has been ongoing throughout the summer will continue on the west bank, according to Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office District 1 Captain Darryl Smith.

The major over the west side district told the Donaldsonville City Council during the Sept. 13 meeting more deployments of deputies have been scheduled.

Smith previously appeared on Mayor Leroy Sullivan's Facebook Live program, Making Progress, touting the positive results of the task force since it started at the beginning of June.

Concern over violent crimes in the area led city officials and APSO to join forces in the hope of quelling the ongoing issues.

A community group organized a townhall discussion at the Ascension Parish courthouse in August, and a Stop the Violence march in February.

From the beginning, the city chipped in $50,000 to fund extra hours for the task force.

Smith told the council some 1,500 overtime hours were worked since the task force deployed 25 times.

Over recent months, there was one homicide in the early stages and another person was injured by gunfire. Since then, incidents have gone down, he said.

"The numbers are decreasing, and we are seeing a reduction in violent crime," Smith said.

He presented the figures available as of the first week of September, which included 62 felony arrests, 29 misdemeanor arrests, and six juvenile arrests. Eight weapons were seized during the period.

Sullivan said he confirmed with the sheriff the task force is expected to "continue for quite some time."

"They see that it's working as well," Sullivan said.

He also addressed some of the negative comments he heard about putting up the money for the task force.

"Most of the elderly people say thank you," the mayor said. "They felt safer in their homes. It is working and I think it was money well spent."