Shreveport city councilor calls for review of juvenile curfew, enforcement after latest round of violence

Crime

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Saturday’s shootout that left a 13-year-old dead and three others wounded has prompted the city councilman of the district where it happened to ask whether the city’s juvenile curfew laws are tough enough.

“Saturday night, while many of us were enjoying a nice holiday weekend watching college football the youngsters of Shreveport decided to have a rolling shootout along one of the most populated roads in the city. The end result another dead teenager and a traumatic night for so many innocent bystanders,” Boucher said in a public Facebook post on Tuesday morning.

“Saturday nights event marks the second death of a young Shreveporter in less than a month in my district.”

Saturday’s shootout happened at Youree Drive and Bert Kouns Industrial Loop, one of the city’s busiest intersections. It came just two weeks after a rolling gun battle that ended on East 70th Street near Gilbert Drive with a 19-year-old fatally shot.

Among other things, Boucher called for parents to be held “criminally accountable” when their kids violate the Shreveport’s juvenile curfew laws, which currently prohibit anyone aged 17 and under from being out in public without a parent or authorized adult between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 a.m. each day except on Friday and Saturday, when the curfew is in force from midnight.

Parents already face fines of up to $500 for each infraction and up to six months in jail after three or more infractions.

Boucher, who chairs the city’s Public Safety Committee, wants to know whether the laws are being enforced and whether they need more teeth. On Tuesday night, he told KTAL/KMSS he has been talking to judges and juvenile judges about these questions and looking into how the current law is being enforced.

In addition to police pay raises, Boucher also wants the city to request additional patrol assistance from the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office and Louisiana State Police to patrol “more suburban areas of the city” and sending more patrol units to high crime areas. He listed this and several other ideas in his Facebook post.

“As the elected Councilmember for District D, I implore the Mayor to act immediately. I also call on my colleagues on the Council to move swiftly on the following:

  • Immediately increase the starting public safety pay to $40,000.
  • Implement a $3,000, one time hazard pay, from the American Rescue Plan money, to all police officers and firefighters.
  • Request additional patrol from Caddo SO and Louisiana State Police to more suburban areas of the city. Sending more patrol units to high crime areas. (With city funding).
  • Start negotiations with Sheriff Prator to directly book city prisoners into CCC. Sell or donate the city jail to Caddo Parish for increase juvenile detention beds.
  • Immediately implement a curfew for those under 17. Holding the parents criminally accountable for infractions by their children.
  • Immediately get the new police cars in service. Any officer that lives in the city should have a take-home car.

Boucher says he has already shared these ideas with interim police chief Wayne Smith. He plans to present them to the city council and discuss them in a public safety committee meeting as soon as next week.

“It’s really more than one thing that is going to solve this problem, but at least opening up a dialog like I have today in one location not partially over meetings over the last two years I hope that this will at least start that dialog and put us on the right track.”

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