I don’t know which is worse; that the government wants to regulate the heroic “Cajun Navy” after the rescued countless people from the Louisiana flooding, or that it’s a Republican whose behind it.
Rather than an award, or plaque or other expression of gratitude from the state, one lawmaker has decided that the all-volunteer group of Good Samaritans who patrolled the flooded landscape rescuing people needs to be regulated.
Cajun Navy member Dustin Clouatre of St. Amant said he hopped into his pleasure skiff and with others, cleared out entire neighborhoods under water.
“For the most part, these people are not going to wait for assistance,” Clouatre said. “They’re doers.”
But Republican State Sen. Jonathan “J.P.” Perry told WWL-TV he is working on a bill that could require training, certificates and a permit fee to allow the “Cajun Navy” to get past law enforcement into flooded areas.
In a radio interview on News Talk 96.5 KPEL in Lafayette, Sen. Perry said it comes down to two main points for law enforcement officials.
“At the end of the day, there are going to be two things that are going to be the hurdle when you approach it from the state’s standpoint,” Sen. Perry said. “Liability is going to be number one for them. They don’t want the liability of someone going out to rescue someone and then not being able to find them, and secondly, there’s a cost.”
Perry said that with a signed waiver and regulation, the liability issue would be solved.
Clouatre and the other “Cajun Navy” members said they can’t understand why anybody would want to regulate them. “How can you regulate people helping people? That doesn’t make sense to me,” Clouatre said.
Perry wouldn’t respond to media inquiries, but took to Facebook to defend himself.
Still, citizens weren’t buying it.
Republican State Senator Jonathan Perry, I believe this is the most absurd proposal I’ve heard in a while. You must be an absurd person.
— Jessica Heddings (@JessicaHeddings) August 23, 2016
— Ben Sanders (@CriminalSanders) August 23, 2016
— Barry Choom (@rapidcraft) August 24, 2016