Jim Craft, Lafayette Police Chief
Jim Craft is a 37-year veteran of the Lafayette Police Department. He has served the Department as a patrol officer, patrol supervisor, criminal investigator and supervisor in the Criminal Investigations Division. He has also held Command positions in the Patrol Division, Criminal Investigation Division, and Services Divisions. Craft also commanded the Department's SWAT Team and Dignitary Protection Team. During 18 years working as an investigator and supervisor in Criminal Investigations, he was involved in over 1500 major felony cases. In January, 2007, Craft was named Lafayette Chief of Police after serving approximately 10 months as Interim Chief.
Chief Craft is widely recognized as an expert in the investigation of major crimes including rape and homicide. He established and commanded a joint task force of federal, state and local law enforcement officers to address a series of related sexual assaults spanning a 12 year period. As a result, a local law enforcement officer was identified, arrested and convicted of multiple attacks. Chief Craft was also the lead investigator in a high profile case involving a prominent Lafayette physician who was accused of injecting his girlfriend with the AIDS virus. That investigation resulted in the doctor’s conviction for attempted second-degree murder.
In addition to his other duties, Craft served as a hostage negotiator on the Department's SWAT Team and has been involved in more than 50 successfully resolved incidents. He has often been called upon by other agencies to assist with hostage situations including a take-over of the St. Martin Parish jail by a group of Cuban detainees. Chief Craft is an instructor in hostage negotiations and often teaches hostage survival techniques in both the public and private sector.
Chief Craft earned his Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from Louisiana State University and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. He is also a graduate of the National F.B.I. Academy and the F.B.I. Law Enforcement Executive Leadership School.