SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Three of Louisiana’s biggest cities rank in the top 10 of a dubious list.
New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport rank as the 4th, 5th and 8th respectively, among the deadliest cities in the country, according to FBI figures.
With those figures in mind, Shreveport Police Chief Ben Raymond spoke with KSLA News 12 about his city’s overall drop in crime in recent years and the perception by some that it still is on the rise.
The police chief said he understands that people who have been the victim of crime, or near crime, will have a different perception about personal safety in Shreveport.
According to the 2018 FBI Crime Report, overall crime is on the decline, so too is violent crime, falling 9 percent.
The only measure not dropping was homicides, with 59 in Shreveport in 2018. There have been 41 homicides in 2019. Measuring year to year, the count stood at 56 at this time in 2018.
And that is just one sign, Raymond said, that the men and women of this police force have responded to the challenge — from extra patrols to community policing.
To get a much better sense of crime trends, he said, they examine the crime rates over the past 5 years.
“But what I do is I stick in 2014, 2014 is our banner year. This is the lowest crime rate since 1975," Raymond said.
"We are only 25 Part I crimes above that at this time this year. So we very well could be the lowest crime rate since 1975. And we’ve been talking about it all year.”
So is Shreveport a safe place to live? It is ranked the 146th safest city in the country, according to a new study by WalletHub.
By comparison, that’s safer than Austin, Dallas, Tulsa and Denver, to name just a few.