Local, federal law enforcement meet for town hall on Barksdale AFB to strengthen cooperation

Local

BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Officers from Haughton, Shreveport, Bossier, and Barksdale Air Force Base attended a law enforcement town hall Friday on the base in an effort to improve cooperation between the agencies.

They discussed interactions between military police and local officers, so everyone can better understand each other’s perspectives. 85% percent of the Air Force Strikers that work at Barksdale live in the surrounding communities, which is why officers want to make sure all departments are unified and working together.

“Not every interaction that we have together is perfect,” said Colonel Mark Dmytryszyn, 2nd Bomb Wing Commander. “We are often interacting during times of tension. Times where emotions may be running high. And times where we may fail to appreciate the risks incurred and the needs for safety that have to be trumped and will trump our best manners and politeness.”

During these tense situations, actions or dialogue could be taken out of context. The law enforcement town hall gave both sides an opportunity to share experiences and concerns.

“Oftentimes we find ourselves being more reactive than proactive and oftentimes that decision comes from just misinformation or just being uninformed on actually what the other side does,” said Master Sergeant Darryl Crosby, 11th Bomb Squad Superintendent. “It’s easy to say we want to do certain things the right way or the wrong way, but the best way to do it is to sit down, come together and actually get the education behind why certain things happen.”

This transparency opens the doors to better relationships between federal and local officers, which in turn improves the way the community is served and protected.

“It’s awesome to be here and be able to be a big family, a big law enforcement family. I look forward to doing more things like this,” said Officer Cole Lilly of the Haughton Police Department.

“We in the military uniform often get thanked for our service, but we – as members of the community – often fail to recognize and thank those who protect us day in and day out,” Dmytryszyn said.

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