SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Parents, city leaders and concerned community members filled the auditorium at Caddo Magnet High School Monday night to share their thoughts and concerns about crime in Shreveport.
“No sane person shoots bullets in communities without a righteous mind,” one woman said.
The town hall-style reunion comes following the death of 13-year-old Landry Anglin, who was killed by a stray bullet in his own home while driving through his neighborhood on May 1.
“What happened last weekend happened on Fairfield Avenue. We also have South Highlands School and First Baptist School. When these crimes are committed in these parts of our city, it’s going to drive out more and more good people and allow more criminals in,” one man said.
Shreveport City Council Dist. B’s Rep. Levette Fuller held the town hall to allow residents of her district to hear from local leaders and panel experts.
“I hope we can come to some conclusions with an open mind, that the response is very important and the consequences are very important. But there is a bigger element in prevention that is more than just police consequences. said Fuller.
Caddo Parish Director of Juvenile Services Clay Walker shared his perspective on the surge in youth crime.
“I think the unfortunate fact is that we have a gang problem. There are gang issues in Shreveport, throughout Louisiana and across the United States that have been exacerbated by COVID. There was a period of a year and a half when children were already vulnerable to gangs and were no longer in school. These are kids who literally didn’t turn on a computer during COVID. So I think we see a result from now on.
Sheriff Steve Prator presented his plan to the public.
“We need to stop this catch and release program that we have going on with career criminals. It’s an immediate thing we can do. I’ve been talking, writing, and praying about this for a year. This is an eleven page suggestion plan that our community can do right away. If you’re sitting in this audience, there’s something in this plan you can do to help. [prevent] violent crime”.
Shreveport Chief Technology Officer Keith Hanson urged more residents to get Ring doorbell cameras and register with the Real Time Crime Center.
Chief Wayne Smith said it can help with the police department’s partnerships with federal agencies.
“Not only are we employing the best practices we can. We are constantly looking for new ways to make our community safer,” Smith said.