SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Citizens of Shreveport brought their concerns about curtailing violent crime in their neighborhoods directly to Tuesday’s city council meeting.
Drive-by shootings, juvenile offenders, and the revolving door of repeat offenders have brought many citizens to their feet demanding solutions and even offering their own.
“We must act. I and many others are willing to do whatever. If that’s paying more taxes if it’s walking the streets if it’s tutoring. It’s whatever but we absolutely need leadership,” one woman said.
Dr. John Vanchiere, chief of Pediatrics Infectious Diseases at LSU Health joined nurses, medical students, and pediatricians at the council meeting. The group carried signs and delivered a very clear message.
“We see these people when they are on death’s doorstep. When they come in with gunshot wounds to all parts of their body. When they come in dying we comfort them. Our nurses are so tired of gun deaths and gun violence,” Vanchiere said.
Councilman Grayson Boucher of District D is calling for residents to lock up their vehicles at night to keep kids from stealing guns out of them.
“Guns go into the hands of these criminals that really don’t care who they are shooting at. There’s some things being done to guns that are making them semi-automatic. It’s dangerous. In some cases, these kids are shooting themselves because they are making these guns to where you can’t even control them,” Boucher said.
A day of prayer for Shreveport declared by Councilman James Green of District F is May 24.
“We will have pastors both black and white that will come and we will pray from 2 to 4 p.m.,” Green said.
Mayor Adrian Perkins said the tragedies are spurring action.
“More people are starting to get involved. If there’s anything I’ve been consistent about when it comes to public safety and new initiatives through the Shreveport Police Department, I say it will be for naught if we don’t have citizen involvement. So I’m excited about this moment. When everybody embraces this problem as their own regardless of what neighborhood these acts are taking place in,” Perkins said.