Natchitoches mayor proposes adding director of public safety to help fight crime

Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 9:12 PM CST

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The City of Natchitoches could be making changes to help with public safety.

On Tuesday, Dec. 6, Mayor Ronnie Williams addressed an uptick in crime. He also said he wants a director of public safety to help stop the latest rash of violent crime. Proposed for the position was Jay D. Oliphant Jr.

“This is something that I haven’t forgotten about. I’ve been working on it since the beginning of my administration just with Crime Stoppers being developed with other kinds of soft steps being taken like bringing the Boys and Girls Club back,” Williams said. “Now when we have seen this recent uptick we saw, it’s something I’m thinking about all the time. Willing to use whatever resource possible to make sure residents feel safe.”

Oliphant has 27 years of law enforcement experience.

“I think the overall goal of this position is to enhance public safety within the city of Natchitoches. Also, work alongside Chief Collins, alongside Chief Winter, and make sure they have the resources they need to be out, talking to people and basically community policing I think is very important where they can get out of their police car and walk and have a conversation with people,” said Oliphant.

Williams said it will take a collective effort to make a change.

“I think we can buck this trend, but we’re not only going to need the help of local people, we’re going to need the help of our legislators on the state level even to the federal level. It’s a whip lining in strategizing ways in which we think those respective governments can provide aid to us.”

Williams said he hopes to put his proposed position up before city council members at their first meeting in January. The council will then decide whether to approve the mayor’s nominee.