OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) — Deputy marshals are stepping up patrols in Opelousas with an eye toward cutting down on robberies of local businesses.

City Marshal Paul Mouton tells The Daily World that he's added 8 reserve marshals and they are patrolling the city from 6-10 p.m. each night.

The main duty of the marshal's office is to provide security for City Court and arrest individuals who fail to appear in court on various charges. There are four full time deputies.

Mouton says the patrols began on the north side of town and are being expanded to the south side. The deputies check businesses along their assigned patrol routes to be sure the businesses are secure.