Law enforcement rolls out plan to tackle gun violence in Northwest Louisiana

Law enforcement leaders explain new initiatives to curb Shreveport violence on Tuesday at the...
Law enforcement leaders explain new initiatives to curb Shreveport violence on Tuesday at the United States Courthouse.(Destinee Patterson)
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 7:32 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Both community members and law enforcement leaders have expressed their frustration with violence in Shreveport.

On Tuesday, law enforcement announced a new plan of action: Operation Guardian and Operation Legend.

Acting United States Attorney, Alexander C. Van Hook, said the initiatives partner federal and local law enforcement. He said this will free up the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s office to work on other cases like rape, murder and aggravated assault.

“If we can bring more federal gun cases here and bring more narcotic cases here, it allows [James Stewart] to deploy his limited resources to other things,” Hook said.

He also said criminals will not let off easy.

“When someone is arrested for federal charges, they are detained, they sit in jail until their time comes,” Hook said. “Once they’re convicted, they go to jail for a substantial period of time.”

When federal gun prosecutions go up, violent crimes go down, he added. Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator said he’s ready for a new approach.

“It’s time that we shed a light, and we look at everything that we do in law enforcement, in the investigation, in the prosecution, and in judging and sentencing these folks," Prator said. “We get the ones that are most dangerous and keep them.”

He said he is tired of the catch-and-release cycle, where law enforcement arrests repeat offenders.

“We keep locking guys up for a brief period of time or giving them probation, [and then] another slap on the wrist, another slap on the wrist,” Alvin Oliver, co-founder of Liberation Advocates for Community Empowerment, added. “By the time they get some long time, they have a record this long.”

The news conference follows a violent end to the weekend, and another shooting involving a two-year-old boy.

“Shreveport’s not an Operation Legend city, but we have the same problem that the larger cities have,” Hook said during the news conference.

He also mentioned the importance of cooperating with police and giving them information.

“Work with the police, work with your friends and neighbors to rid our streets of violent crime," Hook said.

Copyright 2020 KSLA. All rights reserved.