Shreveport, LA (KMSS) — The books have been closed on another year and the Shreveport Police Department is proud to announce 2013 will go down as the lowest year for crime since 1975.
Most major categories of crime saw significant decreases in 2013. Tragically, there were 29 homicides reported last year, but records maintained going back through 1970 reflect this number will be the third lowest homicide total reported during that time period. While one murder is one too many, clearly our city has come a long way from the early 1990s when we experienced up to and over 80 lives lost to violent crime in a single year. Business robberies plummeted by 30 percent from 2012 totals and residential burglaries continued to decline, posting a 5 percent drop from last year’s figures. Other property crimes such as shoplifting and thefts from auto decreased as well. The total Violent Crime Index dropped 9 percent while the Property Crime Index fell 3 percent.
The Uniform Services Division was busy in 2013, responding to more than 280,000 calls for service. Officers worked almost 9,000 motor vehicle crashes. Our Warrants Unit worked hard for the citizens of Shreveport and in doing so put nearly 900 fugitives behind bars. With the support of the Shreveport City Council and Mayor Cedric Glover, additional officers were assigned throughout the year to address emerging crime patterns as well as quality of life issues. As a result of those combined efforts, 14,000 offenders were booked into the Shreveport City Jail. Operation TBONE -- a grassroots community policing program developed by Mayor Glover in 2007 -- continued to be an integral part of the police department’s crime reduction strategies. This real-world implementation of the philosophy of community oriented policing has paid tremendous dividends to the citizens of Shreveport.
The successes our city has seen in reducing crime are the direct result of the diligent dedication to duty on the part of the men and women who have the privilege of serving as employees of the Shreveport Police Department as well as the collaborative partnerships we have forged with others across the communities we serve. Your police department has grown in direct correlation to the public safety needs of the citizens of Shreveport. In 2007, the department’s allocated strength was 535 sworn police officers. In just seven years the force has grown to an allocated strength of 580 sworn police officers, the most in our city’s history. This growth did not happen by accident and stands as tangible proof Mayor Glover and the City Council have made public safety priority one. In addition, our officers are working closer than ever before with other law enforcement agencies at all levels, including the Shreveport City Marshal’s Office, the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office, the Louisiana State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Marshal’s Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Beyond those important relationships, we believe the alliances we have formed with the very citizens we have sworn to serve are responsible in large part for the dramatic decreases in crime in our city. Community policing is a top priority and we will continue to work closely with Neighborhood Associations and Neighborhood Watch Groups.
Chief of Police Willie Shaw was quick to point out that while the decreases in crime are quite impressive, there is still much work to be done. “I understand only too well that in each one of those reported crimes there is a victim who has suffered some kind of loss. I am very concerned about those victims as well as the perception of crime in our city. We will continue working very hard to address not only crime, but that perception of crime.”
The Shreveport Police Department is always looking forward and 2014 will be no exception. While the statistics from 2013 continue to show progress, we believe these numbers can drop even further.