Shreveport police say crime declined in first 3 months of '18

Shreveport police say crime declined in the first 3 months of 2018

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - You'll see a lot of negative numbers if you look at Shreveport police's crime comparison reports for the first two months of 2018.

Violent crime decreased by more than 20 percent in January and February.

The city recorded 3 homicides in the first two months of the year compared to 9 in the first two months of 2017.

Property crime also was down 19% year over year by the end of February.

While March numbers aren't out yet, police Cpl. Marcus Hines says crime also was trending down in the last month of the quarter.

After a year that saw 50 homicides in Shreveport, rising concerns about public safety and even heavy scrutiny of the Police Department, authorities say it appears there is some progress in the fight against crime in Shreveport.

"In 2017, we experienced some difficulties," Hines said.

"But with 2018, we're more impressed with what we're seeing as a result of some changes that were made in 2017."

More manpower is one reason authorities cite for the decrease as well as effective management of officers and resources, like increasing visibility in certain areas.

"We have more officers on the street," Hines said. "We hired dozens of new fighting men and women to patrol our streets, with the latest in vehicles, with the latest in technology like body cameras and things of that nature.

"Putting them in the right places. The CLOs (community liaison officers) out in the community every day. We're fortunate the community has partnered with the Police Department and given over a dozen new bicycles for our CLOs to go out," he continued.

You don't have to reinvent the wheel, but you can make the wheel more efficient.

"Sometimes you have to increase air pressure or decrease air pressure to make the wheel more efficient, and that's what we've been doing. And those things are starting to work now."

While the numbers are encouraging, it doesn't mean an end to crime.

Just this weekend, police responded to several shootings, including a homicide on Brandtway Street.

Hines says the department isn't going to stop pushing.

"We can't afford to say, 'Hey, crime numbers are looking good. We are gonna put it in cruise control and go from there.' No. When you see things trending down, that's when you  have to work hardest."

And last year, Hines said, Crime Stoppers had a record year as far as tips and payouts.

The anonymous tip line also has become more innovative with an app and website.

We're told that a news conference is being planned in the coming weeks to further address the first-quarter numbers.

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