Community leaders, residents tackle tough questions about violent crime in Shreveport

“If you lose your child to gun violence, you’re going to do something”
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 10:03 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Violent crime always is a big topic in Shreveport, where there were at least five shootings over the weekend.

On Monday night, some community leaders met with several residents who voiced their concerns about crime and what’s being done to combat it.

“Everybody has an excuse,” one woman said during the gathering at the MLK Community Center. “If you lose your child to gun violence, you’re going to do something.”

Another asked: “Is there a plan of action that we begin to hold parents accountable?”

One teacher opined: “They don’t have any activities to do, what you think is going to happen? Crime.”

Another teacher, Marvkevea Campbell, said: “This was important for me to come to because I want to do my part as a community member, as a community partner to offer any solution that I possibly can for my community and let’s get the job done.”

[RELATED: Youths have become the faces of some of the violent crimes in Shreveport]

Shreveport Police Chief Wayne Smith and District A Councilwoman Tabatha Taylor led the meeting about gun violence and community safety.

“Our presence tonight and our conversation helped the community understand how important it is that we work together to come up with solutions to solve our problems,” the police chief said. “It takes everyone putting forth a concerted effort. Not just talking about it, but putting forth an effort to make it happen.”

Taylor said: “When the trajectory of crime changes, that means we need to approach things and do things a little bit differently. But what I’m also proud of is the amount of support we have in this room.”

Smith said there are changes coming to help combat violent crime. “More artificial intelligence. More intelligence-led policing is coming. Cameras are beginning to happen.”

Taylor said everyone has to work together to see a positive change.

“The police will do what they need to do. The community does what it needs to do. Officials do what they need to do. But we’re all a part of the same team, and the vision is public safety.”

Campbell, the teacher, said that united front is necessary.

“I think that when we all get on one accord and get those answers for ourselves, we’ll be able to get them to the next point.”