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LACE program under the microscope in parishes across Louisiana

Parishes across Louisiana were shaken this winter by revelations that the LACE program, the goal of which was to strengthen local law enforcement, had developed into an apparent payroll scam.

Funding for LACE (Local Agency Compensated Enforcement) comes from local district attorneys who contract with the State Police to have troopers work extra hours enforcing traffic laws, including in Calcasieu and adjoining parishes. Recent reports indicate that investigation of the alleged scam is widening.

In this deal, local governments benefit in two separate ways: first from the benefit of having more officers out on our highways, making them safer, and second from the money paid into our community finances through fines and court costs.

The contract that exists between citizens and law enforcement is that State Police are given the power to arrest or ticket us when it's in the community's best interest to do so.

The importance of trust

This contract is held together by trust. We trust police to treat us fairly and to work for our benefit. If it appears officials are feathering their nest instead of doing the work agreed upon, trust takes a hit.

At the same time, officers are valued members of our community. They have rights under our Constitution and deserve every legal protection.

It is important to remember these rights, even as we seek a solution to the problems at hand.

If you have a legal concern of your own in Lake Charles or elsewhere, do not hesitate to seek legal counsel. Our firm provides comprehensive legal services in criminal law, personal injury law and family law.

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J Est 1980

The Johnson Firm | 910 Ford Street | Lake Charles, LA 70601 | Phone: (337) 433-1414 | Map & Directions