SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins and Police Chief Ben Raymond spent Tuesday afternoon knocking on doors in the Martin Luther King neighborhood to talk about neighborhood watch programs and the importance of speaking up about crime.
“If you are sitting at home and you see these young people playing and you know something about a crime, or you know a crime is about to happen, I know it’s scary but, please think about them,” Perkins said. “We will not be able to keep our city safe and won’t be able to keep our neighborhood safe unless people are cooperating and talking to us.”
There have been more than 50 homicides in Shreveport in 2020 and the majority have been the result of shootings.
“It is heartbreaking to me. I grew up in a high crime neighborhood myself. I know what these children are going through hearing gunshots at night. I myself you to sleep up under my bed because of how much gunfire I’ve experienced,” the mayor said.
“Our solution, and this has been said since the beginning, it has to be a community effort on how we solve crime and how we reduce crime in our neighborhoods.”
Chief Raymond says they have only solved 58 to 59 % of the crimes so far.
“The percentage is not as high as we would like. We would like to solve all of them. But better yet we would like to be proactive and not have these shootings. We have far too many instances, not only are witnesses not coming forward, but we have quite a few instances where the victim themselves are telling us they don’t want to pursue charges, they don’t know what happened, or they don’t want the police’s involvement.”
There have been multiple drive-by shootings in recent weeks, including one Sunday night that claimed the life of 30-year-old Miranda Smith and her unborn baby.
“These shootings are going to be related to some criminal activity, which would be gang activity. We are working hard to resolve them. We are constantly looking at our resources and how they are allocated,” Chief Raymond said. “The more officers we have on the street the more special operations we could run. The more officers we can have in the area that has spiked in crime. I don’t think it contributes to crime but it does affect our ability to respond as quickly as we would like.”
Chief Raymond said they are working with other local, state, and federal agencies to assist in investigating some of the crimes.