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Council discusses new pregnancy center; Lartigue shares plans for reserve officer program

Pastor Travis Turner with First Baptist Church in Eunice addressed the Ville Platte City Council Tuesday to share news about a crisis pregnancy center opening in Mamou.
Turner said, “About a year ago, we started talking to folks around the community about what it would look like to have a pregnancy center in our area.” He shared that there are crisis pregnancy centers in Lafayette, Alexandria and Lake Charles, but none in the Evangeline area.
Turner said after speaking with people in the area, he realized there was a lot of support to open crisis pregnancy center. After deciding opening a crisis pregnancy center would be possible, finding the perfect location was next. The location for the center will be 1417 7th St. in Mamou, across from the emergency entrance of Savoy Medical Center, and it’s name will be New Life Pregnancy Care Center.
The Eunice based pastor then shared a little about crisis pregnancy centers with the council. He said, “We want to work with folks that get pregnant and say ‘this is kind of a crisis in my life.’ That is not just one group either. Some people think that’s just for the teenagers, but not at all. It is across the board for women.
“We want to let them know that there is another option besides abortion.”
Turner continued, “We want them to know that they can be excited about life and about having their baby.”
The center will offer free pregnancy tests, ultra sounds and earn and learn program counseling. Dr. Kayla Fontenot and nurse practitioner Tommy Newman will be a part of the center.
A free open house will be hosted at the center for the public on Thursday, May 2, at 6:00 p.m. There will be a free public tour of the facility and a dinner honoring area doctors and other medical personnel.
This event will be hosted by the New Life Pregnancy Care Board of Directors, the Baptist Nursing Fellowship and the Acadia Association of Women’s Missions and Ministry.
For more information, contact Turner at (337) 277-4501.
During the meeting, Mayor Jennifer Vidrine shared the city’s financial report for February and March. She said the city spent $184,036.56 in February and $214,139.03 in March. Vidrine attributed the increase in spending for the month of March to the city having to repair well number nine, showers in the jail and sewer lines, as well as having to pay the city’s portion of the October election and surveys sent to the state.
Council member Bryant Riggs then brought up a topic that has been discussed at more than one council meeting and police jury meeting, which dealt with blighted properties.
While on this topic, Riggs thanked the Evangeline Parish Police Jury for because he said, “The police jury held up their end of the bargain and tore down a house recently in the city.”
This ultimately led to the mayor commending newly elected council member Lionel Anderson for a program he started in his district that he is calling COST (Clean Our Streets Together).
Police Chief Neal Lartigue shared his report during the April 16th meeting. For the month of March he said his department responded to a total of 405 calls, which resulted in 389 reports. There were 15 citations, 52 arrests, 11 felony arrest and 27 accidents.
During the meeting, Lartigue also shared that he is working on implementing a Reserve Law Enforcement Officer Program. Individuals that would be reserve officers would not be paid. The chief said, these people would be volunteers.
However, the reserve officer would still be required to go through a physical, be POST (Peace Officer Standard Training) certified, and they would have to go through certain trainings before they could work on the street. He also shared a reserve officer would have to have a psych evaluation done as well.
Lartigue said, “Everything a regular peace officer goes through is what someone would have to go through before they could become a reserve officer.”
The only thing left to check into before this program can begin is whether or not the police department’s insurance will cover the program.
Items approved at the meeting:
•Louisiana Smoked Meat Festival Endeavor Agreement.
•Resolution in opposition of all proposed legislation that permits the legislature to remove the authority of local governments to administer and collect local sales and use taxes.
•Next meeting date set for May 21, 2019

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