by KAREN LAGRANGE COX
Youngsville Police Department (YPD) Detective Louvenia Landry has worked in law enforcement most of her adult life. She and her partner, Detective Jade Broussard, both attribute their success in solving cases to their ability to think outside the box.
For the last five years, Landry has worked for the Youngsville Police Department (YPD), with the last two years working as a detective. Before working for YPD, she was a civilian working for Louisiana State Police, and before that worked for the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office.
When investigating a crime, asking questions is relevant in solving cases, according to Landry. She said she asks lots of questions as there would be no answers without questions. The answers help paint the whole picture of a crime or situation, allowing a detective to see the whole picture to investigate and solve the crime.
Landry emphasized the significance of actively listening to victims of crime. Demonstrating compassion and empathy are crucial aspects of working with victims, as they enable detectives to comprehend the victim’s experience better. This increased understanding benefits the victim and helps detectives provide support by providing information and referrals to resources.
When working to de-escalate a situation, it’s important for both Landry and the victim to communicate effectively. The victim should listen and follow Landry’s instructions for the de-escalation to be successful.
Landry has previously worked in the personal care industry for the elderly and individuals with disabilities. Her experience in this field has given her valuable insights into situations she now investigates as a detective, such as cases of child or elderly abuse and referrals from the Department of Family Services (DFS).
When it comes to mental health issues, Landry feels there is insufficient help and resources to help those suffering from mental health issues. She is concerned when officers are out on a call, they often must make quick decisions and may not have the training or expertise to be a counselor or a therapist to de-escalate a situation or provide the necessary support for someone suffering from mental illness. This can lead to dangerous situations for both the officer and the person in crisis.
Types of Investigations
The types of investigations Landry and Broussard work on include:
Missing Persons and Abductions
YPD works with various agencies to locate a missing or abducted person. Investigations for missing persons are handled differently than if a person is abducted.
Amber Alerts are done for abducted children. With an Amber Alert, the vehicle specifications and license plate number are usually known and provided through the Amber Alert, along with the name and description of the child. If available, the name and description of the abductor are provided.
Silver Alerts are similar to Amber Alerts, except those are for an elderly person who usually leaves in a vehicle on their own accord. The elderly person may have dementia or other mental impairment. In some cases, the senior citizen may have just left to get away from things; however, they did not let family, friends, or caretakers know they are leaving for a while.
Home and vehicle burglaries investigations are determined by urgency. Landry urges everyone to keep their homes and vehicles locked. She also encourages everyone to remove valuables and weapons from a locked vehicle. Landry pointed out that when a weapon is stolen, it is often used in another crime.
Homicides, Suspicious Deaths, and Rapes
If there is a suspicious death, homicide, or rape, patrol officers can assess the situation and do an initial report. From there, the detectives take over the case for investigation.
Traffic patrol investigates vehicle crashes. YPD closely works with the Youngsville Fire Department and Emergency Medical Technicians when vehicle crashes occur.