Jim Craft, Lafayette Police Chief
Jim Craft is a 39-year veteran of the Lafayette Police Department. In January, 2007, Craft was named Lafayette Chief of Police after serving approximately 10 months as Interim Chief. Chief Craft has held Command positions in the Patrol Division, Criminal Investigation Division, and Services Divisions. During 18 years working as an investigator and supervisor in Criminal Investigations, he was involved in over 1,500 major felony cases. He also commanded the Department's SWAT Team and Dignitary Protection Team.
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.
As the Director of the fourth largest police department in the state, Chief Craft has spearheaded changes to the department’s internal administrative investigative process. He has been recognized for his experience regarding officer-involved shootings, adhering to the police officer bill of rights, and case presentations to the local civil service board.
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. Other achievements include being a graduate of the National F.B.I. Academy and the F.B.I. Law Enforcement Executive Leadership School. Chief Craft currently serves as a member of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, the Lafayette Parish Communication District, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee and other local boards and associations. He is a past president of the Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police.