City Council, mayor debate crime, need for extra patrols

City Council, mayor debate crime, need for extra patrols

Shreveport City Council members spent nearly an hour Tuesday debating the perception of crime in the city and how best to police Shreveport.

The debate over everything from crime statistics to the impact of social media was spurred by an argument Monday between Police Chief Alan Crump and Councilman Willie Bradford.

The two exchanged words during the council's work session about the status of a proposal for Caddo sheriff's deputies to help patrol to the city. 

Crump stated that the sheriff did not have the manpower.

Bradford countered that Caddo commissioners seemed ready to help.

Crump said crime statistics continue to trend down.

"It seems everybody's words are believed but mine," he said Monday.

A proposal to have the Caddo Commission fund sheriff's patrols in the southern area of the city failed to move forward after two meetings of the commission's long-range planning committee.

On Tuesday, Commissioner Mario Chavez was called in to recap what happened at the meeting.

"It seemed that our funds were not needed and the sheriff's help was not wanted in the centralized area of crime," Chavez said.

The sheriff also relayed to commissioners that the plan wouldn't have had an impact on violent crime, Chavez added.

Some council members are still pushing for sheriff's and state police patrols in the city.

"The citizens of this city are not resting. They want to see something that they can visually see," Bradford said Tuesday.

He said he plans to approach the Caddo Commission with new legislation about a joint crime-fighting effort.

"All this blowing and going started yesterday. I'm counting on you mayor to figure out what we can do with the Sheriff's Department," Councilman James Flurry told Mayor Ollie Tyler during Tuesday's gathering.

Tyler cited a 29 percent decrease in homicides over the first part of this year along with a drop in other violent crime.

"When the crime spiked and we released the data, everybody believed it because everybody used it," she said.

"Now that crime is going down, we need to make sure we still report what's happening with the plan."

Tyler reiterated that police are working with the Sheriff's Office.

And Brian Crawford, the city's chief administrative officer, said the administration never has turned down help from any law enforcement agency.

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