"State of Bossier Parish" -crime and the men and women behind the badge

Crime statistics report released for 2017

Bossier Parish, La. - The Bossier Parish Sheriff releases crime statistics for 2017 and outlines the "State of the Parish."

The crime statistics cover the parish area and do not include the city limits. It shows major crimes decreased by six percent compared to 2016.  

Sheriff Julian Whittington said there were 915 major crimes in the parish last year which is down by 57 crimes compared to 2016. Excluding the city limits of Bossier, Benton, Haughton and Plain Dealing, there hasn't been a murder since. 

"The homicide rate we're very proud of, for two years running we've had zero homicides. That's zero, anyway you count it," Sheriff Whittington said. 

He said data shows Bossier Parish is the fastest growing parish in the state. About 130-thousand residents currently live in the parish and it could reach 145-thousand by 2022. 

"Money Magazine recently announced that Bossier Parish was the best place to live in Louisiana. Of course, we've known that all along but it's certainly good to have that confirmed," Whittington said.

He said it starts with the different departments.  

Makesha Carr Harris has worked in corrections for the past 21 years. 

"Most people think working in corrections is bad. You know you have your murderers, rapists, drug offenses, and all that but we get a chance to help. We get a chance to change lives and that's what we focus on. You know, turning people's lives around," said Harris, Chief of Corrections Bossier Sheriff's Office.

Bossier SWAT teams bust through doors when people inside barricade themselves with guns. It's leader says it takes a certain brass. 

"You have to have the mindset and the training behind you to go in and make sure you're safe and the goal to keep the citizens safe," said Mike Gibson, SWAT Lieutenant Bossier Sheriff's Office.

Crime also encompasses the rivers and waterways. The Marine Patrol monitors life-vests, to reckless drinking and boat operation, to recovering bodies. 

"We're part of the Dive Team. We have an eight man dive team. We do search and recovery, drowning victims, property that may be stolen or used in crimes we go and recover those," said Billy Jones, Marine Patrol Lieutenant Bossier Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Whittington said as the parish grows so will their public safety measures. 

He said the most frequent crime is vehicle burglaries which is due to people leaving their keys in their cars with the doors unlocked. 

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