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Thanks to grant, Lafayette City Marshal steps closer to accreditation

Thanks to a financial boost from the United States Department of Justice, the Lafayette City Marshal could soon be the only accredited marshal in the state of Louisiana.

Posted: Dec 3, 2021 5:41 PM

Lafayette - The Lafayette City Marshal’s Office could soon receive an agency accreditation and it’s partially thanks to a needed grant.

Getting the Marshal’s Office accredited was one of Lafayette City Marshal Reggie Thomas’ goals when he took over in January. Now that goal is one step closer to reality.

Thomas said "it’s so important to be accredited because it’s standards, policies and it pretty much holds your agency accountable."

Thanks to a financial boost from the United States Department of Justice, the Lafayette City Marshal could soon be the only accredited marshal in the state of Louisiana.

"We received the entire amount that was needed," he said.

The $74,000 grant will help pay for the accreditation process training and new software.

"This grant will be used in the next three years," he said. "What’s so exciting about this is this grant will pay for the entire accreditation so there’s no tax dollars that will be used."

The Lafayette City Marshal’s Office was last accredited in 2013 before lapsing in 2017 following a criminal investigation of then-marshal Brian Pope.

Thomas said the trifecta of having all three local agencies accredited will allow for smoother communication among departments.

"So that means teamwork comes together," Thomas said. "I want my Mashal's to be at the same level as the deputies and the police officers in the city of Lafayette."

That increase in productivity means above all else Lafayette residents benefit the most.

"The community benefits simply because of transparency and because we use the same professional standards as the sheriff’s office and the city police," he said.

Normally an accreditation takes upwards of three years but Thomas said his goal is to have the process completed sometime in mid- to late 2022.

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