Numbers prove Donaldsonville a safe place

DERON TALLEY, EDITOR @DeRonTalley

The City of Donaldsonville doesn’t have to be victim of being called a bad place to live anymore. It has the numbers that prove otherwise. According to Ascension Parish’s Chief Deputy Tony Bacala Donaldsonville is in good standing when compared to the national report card.

Bacala spoke to the Donaldsonville Rotary Club last week at Café Lafourche and informed the club of some general statistics that show the city’s standing when it comes to crime.

Bacala said Donaldsonville, a city of 7,487 people, matched up to the national average in thefts is 20 percent lower. In burglary, 34 percent below the average and 28 percent lower in robberies.

“I think that’s pretty darn good,” Bacala said. “I think if I show these numbers to somebody they would say that city sounds like a pretty good place to live.”

Bacala explained the national crime report is based on a 100,000 people, so with Donaldsonville not reaching it’s harder to truly gauge in some categories.

“Where we’re not doing so good, but it’s so hard because of our population to truly gauge, is murders,” Bacala said. “You should have .35 murders per year, but you can’t murder .35 people so if you had zero you’re below national average and you have one you’re at one you’re above.”

In the last 12 months the City of Donaldsonville had only one murder, which means it’s 2.8 times the national average, according to Bacala.

However, Bacala said one category that Donaldsonville is truly above average and is big enough to measure is “where people hurt people, not kill them just somebody cutting somebody and not killing them, or hitting them with a two by four.”

“That’s where we’re not doing well here,” Bacala said. “We had 80 of those in the last year, that equates to about four times the national average. That’s the crime we work on more than anything.”

Still, Bacala said Donaldsonville is a great place to live.

“If you live in Donaldsonville and you live a good upstanding life you’re probably less likely to be a victim of any kind of crime than the average guy living in the United States of America, true. That’s it,” Bacala said. “This is not a bad place to live, you live in a good community.”

Donaldsonville City Council Chairman Raymond Aucoin said Donaldsonville is no different than most small towns.

“Certainly we have some crime, but it was reassuring to hear the statistics that Chief Bacala presented at the Rotary meeting,” Aucoin said.

Aucoin was born and raised in Donaldsonville and said he has always felt safe living there.

“The Sheriff's Office does a great job with law enforcement. We are fortunate to have the arrangement we have with APSO,” Aucoin said.

Last summer, Donaldsonville fell to the center of attention with a shooting in the south part of the city. Bacala and Aucoin said the summertime poses a threat as more teens are on the streets with summer vacation.

“Summertime does present additional concerns with the children out of school,” Aucoin said. “Unfortunately, our city does not provide a lot of activities for the summer months.”

Aucoin said he has always felt that the summer baseball program ends too soon and the city does not have many recreational activities to offer.

“Our kids really need to have things to do during the summer.”