Extra patrols to attack Shreveport's crime surge awaits funding

Who will pay for extra police patrols in Shreveport?

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Anticipation is already building now two weeks since the announcement Caddo Parish Sheriff's deputies would begin helping with extra patrols on Shreveport city streets.

The biggest hold up at the moment appears to be exactly how to pay for those extra patrols and who pays the tab.

That's exactly what will begin to be addressed on Thursday, June 7, at Shreveport's Government Plaza at the Caddo Commission's Long Range Planning Committee meeting.

When Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator announced back in mid-May that deputies could soon help Shreveport with police patrols, to help curb the recent surge of violence, the idea attracted lots of support.

"More boots on the ground, that's what's needed. That's what we did in the army, why not do it for the city," said District 10 Commissioner Mario Chavez.

But he openly questions the idea of Caddo Sheriff's deputies taking over some patrols, while Shreveport Police concentrate on high crime areas.

"I want to see a plethora of different badges throughout the community where people can walk out and they feel safe," began Chavez. "And the criminal element sees that and says, 'it may be time to pack up and leave. These guys are getting serious."

Chavez said he hopes to learn more about the extra patrols at the commission's Long Range Planning Committee meeting.

While there's plenty of anticipation of these extra patrols getting underway in the city of Shreveport, don't expect it to happen overnight.

Here's why: Commissioner Chavez told us he suspects the extra patrols idea will likely not make it out of committee because of all the questions to sort out."

District 8 Commissioner Mike Middleton added that even if the process runs smoothly, a final commission vote might not come until July 5.

But Middleton is the first to tell you there's a need for those extra patrols right now.

"And what people lose sight of, we may only have so many homicides. But how many people (are) being shot? The aggravated assaults and aggravated batteries that (are) going on every day in this community."

Since he is a reserve deputy, Middleton said he will abstain from any vote, if or when the proposal makes it that far in the process.

And commissioners acknowledge that extra patrols won't come cheap. They have been told it could cost $120,000 for the first four months.

Then comes the next question: Will the city of Shreveport and Caddo Parish split the costs? We're told it's just one more question in need of an answer before moving forward.

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