(KSLA) - Bossier police and Louisiana Boardwalk management are stepping up enforcement on an 8 p.m. curfew for kids 16 and under on the property due to "a number of disturbances involving juveniles" on the property. Bossier City Police Public Information Officer Mark Natale says that includes fights or disturbances recently caused by teenagers.
The most recent incident happened just before 10 p.m. on January 15, when shots were fired outside the Housing Authority of Bossier City Maintenance Department building on the other side of River Colony Drive from the boardwalk parking lot. No one is believed to have been struck by the gunfire, as no victims ever came forward. Police say no arrests have been made, either.
Still, the incident drew a large police presence as officers and first responders converged on the area and raised concerns about safety at the popular riverfront shopping and entertainment center.
Boardwalk management says the curfew was first implemented in 2007.
"We had been a little bit relaxed on enforcement. When that happens, challenges present themselves," said Louisiana Boardwalk General Manager Bill McFadden.
"We've had some challenges where the youngsters can be a little rowdy sometimes or they can be intimidating in groups so that's what we are trying to get under control," he continued.
While Boardwalk Management is in charge of enforcement, Bossier City Police and Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office plan to have a presence there and provide assistance if needed.
Bossier City Police Public Information Officer Mark Natale explained, "Management will plan on pursuing trespassing charges against any violators who are asked to leave and refuse to do so. That's where police become involved."
"It's imperative that we in law enforcement do all we can to help maintain a safe community here in Bossier City," Bossier City Police Chief Shane McWilliams said in the statement. "The Boardwalk has long been a popular destination for visitors and residents alike. It is our intention to help preserve that."
"We want to ensure residents of Bossier that the parish is a safe place, including the Boardwalk, and extra measures will be taken to keep it a safe environment," said Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington. "Our deputies will work closely with the Bossier City Police Department, and the message is simple: those who wish to cause problems and break the law at the Boardwalk will be arrested."
Boardwalk management will be posting extra notices and flyers advising patrons of its stepped up enforcement.
"This curfew is to create best shopping and entertainment venue we can for our patrons," said McFadden.