CQ Press, a private publishing company that compares and ranks cities, released a report listing Shreveport as 69th in the nation in crime rate rankings. The Shreveport Police Department sees these rankings as a misleading way to compare crime in cities.
"I think the neighborhoods are really good. I think there's only a few neighborhoods that have problems, but it's like any other city. Everywhere is going to have problems," said Andrew Sparks, a Shreveport resident.
Securing neighborhoods and businesses around Shreveport is the duty of the police department. So, the city's ranking increasing from 82nd to 69th on the CQ Press list is surprising since crime in the city has decreased over the past thirty years.
"Our numbers are audited by the FBI," Sgt. Bill Goodin explained to us. He told us that crime in Shreveport continues to bend downward in Shreveport noting lows that have not been seen in thirty years. "Homicides have seen a tremendous decrease." Sgt. Goodin said robberies are also down this year. The Shreveport police credit these decreases to the collaborative effort between business owners, local residents and other law enforcement agencies.
The Shreveport Police Department believes comparing the cities in this way is a skewed view of ranking crime across the country. "There's so many discrepancies between the different cities. It's really like comparing apples to oranges," Sgt. Goodin told us. "Literally, what's an aggravated assault in Shreveport is not going to be an aggravated assault in Los Angeles or New York." In some jurisdictions, an aggravated assault can be considered almost a homicide, but in Shreveport it is considered a completely different crime.
Despite the jump on the list, residents of Shreveport still feel safe going about their everyday activities. Bill Richard, a Shreveport resident, told us that he feels safe going home, and he feels that his home is safe when he is not there.
Part of that feeling of safety can be credited to the constant presence of police cars seen around the city. "I've always noticed the cars," Richard told us. "There are several police officers who live in my neighborhood, so their cars are always outside their house." Sparks agreed with Richard noting that he's seen an increase of police units patrolling his neighborhood in the past few months. "They're pretty much everywhere."