Alexandria City Administration announces new information policy, possible youth gun amendment
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Mayor Jacques Roy announced a new information reporting policy the City will use to disperse information to the public.
All information regarding crimes, emergencies, utility announcements or anything else pertaining to functions of the City will come from the City’s administration. All information will now be published on the City’s website and social media accounts.
“Any media policy that was under the previous administration, I have revoked formally, I have reviewed them, four if not five, and revoked them because they are not consistent with what we think should be the proper policy,” said Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy at the meeting.
This new policy makes the City the sole publisher of information, and means it controls what information gets released, and how quickly it gets released. Two days before the meeting, on May 13, three people were shot and one person was killed. It took the City nearly 48 hours to publish information on two of those incidents.
Mayor Roy said by releasing information too quickly, it could hamper police investigations.
“The pace at which information is desired by you has to be tempered by how much harm it could do if you prematurely have it,” said Mayor Roy. “So, you guys may say what does that all mean? It means there is no way to answer every situation with some perfection today - it has to be a waiting process.”
You can read the full policy here:
During the City Council meeting, an amendment was introduced, authored by City Councilman Reddex Washington of District 1, that could penalize parents and guardians for allowing minors to access guns.
This amendment will allow police to arrest adults for careless firearm storage if a juvenile then uses or attempts to use the gun, mirroring a similar move in New Orleans. Those adults could also be held responsible if that minor hurts themself or someone else with the gun. They will face fines of up to $500 and up to six months in jail.
“I look at it as one solution to create this change that we need in Alexandria to bring down this teen gun violence,” said Washington. “What it would do is it goes for those negligent parents, those negligent guardians, those negligent adults that are letting these kids get ahold of these guns that are committing these crimes.”
On May 13, Dontravius Williams, 19, was shot and killed in Councilwoman Cynthia Perry’s district, and a 17-year-old was shot and injured outside of the Bayview Yacht Club in Councilwoman Lizzie Felter’s district. Both gave their condolences before commenting on the weekend crimes.
“It affects everyone in that community, it affects everyone in the district, it affects everyone in the city,” said Perry. “We put the blame on the councilmen, we put the blame on the mayor, we put the blame on the parents, but who do we really blame? Can anybody, if anybody, tell us who do we really blame and how do we fix it? That would be a great thing that I would like to hear.”
“We see events like this happen where anger turns into pointing a gun at someone, and it’s difficult to know what can be done,” said Felter. “My biggest hope is that in our community, we can come together and say we don’t want this for our people in the city - or kids in high school and in their twenties and beyond. We want to figure out how to give people the problem-solving skills that are going to help with that.”
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