Mansfield will see a higher police presence

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MANSFIELD, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – More law enforcement officers will be seen out in the City of Mansfield Friday night to meet with people in the community after an uptick in crime.

The Mansfield Assistant Police Chief said they’re seeing more crime this year compared to last, going from 38 shots fired calls for the entire year of 2019, to now 50 so far this year with vehicles shot and one homicide. So they’re starting a new initiative to get more officers on the streets.

“It will just look like more patrol vehicles in the area. The City of Mansfield only runs two to three officers per shift. So therefore we reached out to the sheriff’s office and state police to have a higher presence of law enforcement inside the city,” said Billy Locke, Mansfield Assistant Police Chief.

The Desoto Parish Sheriff’s Office said it’s a proactive approach not meant to intimidate citizens but connect with them.

“So the law enforcement aspect getting out the community and doing traffic stops and things like that is just a small part of this initiative. The biggest part of this initiative is just getting out and understanding the community and communicating. Our community liaisons will be engaging with the community just to find out what’s going on,” said Mark Pierce, Desoto Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy of Public Relations.

They said many of the shots fired calls turn out to be people with illegal firearms.

“Our officers are strictly out there to enforce the law. They’re not out there to target one person or any certain group of individuals. We want to keep all our citizens safe,” Locke said.

Some people commented on the sheriff’s Facebook page that it sounds like ‘Stop and Frisk’.

“I’ve seen those comments and I completely understand where that comes from. That’s not our goal. We’re wanting to be an increased presence so our all of citizens know their neighborhoods are safe,” Pierce said.

They’re hoping this approach will bring in more tips from the public to prevent crime.

“They’re going to be wanting people to talk to them. If you see something say something. That’s what we’re trying to do is bring back community oriented policing and try and control the violent crimes in the city,” Locke.

The Desoto Parish Sheriff’s Office has an app where you can leave an anonymous tip.

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