Directed Patrols Unit (Surveillance Unit)
The Directed Patrol Unit was conceived by Sheriff Louis M. Ackal to supplement the uniform patrol division. Its primary function was to work the areas of the city of New Iberia and the parish of Iberia where there was occurring a large number of burglaries, thefts and criminal damage to property. The program has been so successful that it has been incorporated into the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Bureau of Investigations. Not only does it supplement the patrol division, but also narcotics, detectives and sex offender registry where surveillance is required releasing the members of the other sections to continued with other investigations.
The Directed Patrol Section uses unmarked vehicles and all terrain vehicles for their patrols. They do surveillance on an area that is suffering from thieves and burglars. They will also work areas like schools, parks, farms, and neighborhoods where prowlers and vandals take advantage of lightly populated areas to commit crimes.
Directed Patrol is made up of four team members and a sergeant. The sergeant is responsible for insuring that reports and paperwork are completed in a timely manner, that all equipment is maintained. Further, the sergeant receives and distributes assignments from the other areas of the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office. The sergeant answers directly to and receives assignments from the lieutenant of detectives.
To date, this team is responsible for nine burglary arrests. Most of them were in progress calls, and numerous others were on view arrests; where a marked patrol unit would have been spotted before it arrived or the criminal wouldn’t have committed the criminal act had a marked patrol unit been in the area.