SHREVEPORT, La.(KTAL/KMSS) – Shreveport’s police chief is standing up to skeptics and standing by the city’s 2019 crime stats.
The annual crime report released Monday shows total reports of Part One crimes, which include violent crimes and thefts, are the lowest they’ve been since 1975.
Chief Ben Raymond said those numbers are reported to the FBI and are accurate, as some communities are stepping up their own efforts to combat crime.
“I don’t know what to tell the skeptics other than I’m sorry you don’t like the numbers, but I’m gonna report the numbers as what they are,” said Raymond. “And they happen to be low and we’re gonna give credit to all those people that have contributed to those numbers. If they’re high next year, I’m gonna stand before you and tell you how high they are and what we’re gonna try to do to bring them back down.”
In 2019, Shreveport Police are reporting there were 10,665 incidents of Part One level offenses. That includes crimes like homicides, rapes, robberies, burglaries and thefts.
“We’re not cooking any numbers,” said Raymond. “We’re not misreporting any particular crime, we’re not leaving anything off the list to try to make the numbers look lower.”
Raymond said his team reviews crime reports weekly and uses that data to pinpoint responses and increase visibility in active crime areas.
“Then we’re also gonna focus hard on those violent crimes,” said Raymond. “So, 43 homicides [in 2019] is too many. I’m not bragging about those numbers.”
As for the community’s perception that the city isn’t any safer, Raymond said he can’t control how people feel.
“I’m not gonna try to fix it,” said Raymond. “If you feel that way, that’s important for us to know. I mean, that’s an important part of the law enforcement piece is not only that it is safe, but you feel safe. Because if you don’t feel safe, that affects your life.”
But, some residents are taking matters into their own hands.
“This is our community,” said Jim McCarty, Anderson Island Neighborhood Watch. “This is my community. We’re gonna take this place back. We’re not gonna wait for the criminal to come to us. We’re gonna go to them.”
McCarty is a driving force for the Anderson Island Neighborhood Watch.
“The police don’t have a red ‘S’ on their chest,” said McCarty. “They don’t fly through the air, they can’t be everywhere. They can’t see through walls.”
He and his neighbors serve as the eyes and ears for the police in the community. They patrol the neighborhood and share anything that seems amiss with the authorities.
“If you’re not reporting it to the police and you’re seeing crimes, you’re a part of the crime,” said McCarty.
McCarty and Raymond encourage everyone to participate in a neighborhood watch. It’s as simple as when you see something, say something to police.
McCarty says the police have confirmed the Anderson Island Neighborhood Watch initiative has made a dent on crime in that community.