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Editor and Contributing Writer

Photograph: Opelousas Police Chief Martin McLendon

A new set of eyes – 22 of them – are being installed around strategic sections of Opelousas, in an attempt to curtail the recent volume of gunshots and city-wide drive-by shootings, according to Police Chief Martin McLendon.

In a YouTube video that was posted Tuesday on social media, McLendon said the police department has obtained a $140,000 grant that will be used to locate the 22 surveillance cameras that he thinks will add another layer of deterrence to the random guns that have been fired throughout Opelousas.

The grant McLendon said, was obtained by state representative Dustin Miller. AT&T and Cleco are also partnering with the police department in association with the grant, McLendon added.

McLendon didn’t specify where the cameras will be installed, but he said they will be placed in what he has determined are areas and neighborhoods where OPD has determined shots are being fired and criminal activity normally occurs.

“We are going to start placing these cameras throughout the city. This is also something that we have for a long time been hoping for. I think the cameras will be able to put Opelousas in a batter position in neighborhoods and the high crime areas,” McLendon said in the video.

McLendon added that too often individuals have been inclined inside the city to shoot indiscriminately in connection with drive-by incidents and well as step outside residences or perhaps where they might be living at the time and unload a few rounds before stepping back inside dwellings.

The cameras McLendon said, may be able to pick up license plate numbers on vehicles involved in shootings as well as possibly helping identify drivers and passengers.

“What we are attempting to do is stopping all this random gunfire and putting these cameras in different places throughout the city. We think will help us be able to do that. The officers will still respond, but with the cameras, we might have a better idea about who is firing those rounds,” said McLendon.