Local law enforcement leaders engage in war of words

Published: Dec. 5, 2017 at 10:50 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2017 at 1:58 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Caddo's top law enforcement officer held nothing back when asked about Shreveport's latest homicide.

The question arose Tuesday as Sheriff Steve Prator spoke with Caddo Republicans about everything from prison reform to violence in Shreveport.

The sheriff readily admits to being honest, frank and crude after having worked more than 40 years in law enforcement.

His response was no different when an audience member asked what law enforcement can do to help stem the growing number of homicides in Shreveport.

Prator half-flippantly answered that people could stop killing people.

Then he responded more seriously.

"I don't want to be up here and be critical of what is going on. I know the Shreveport Police Department is a good organization. They have a bunch of real good members."

That said, Prator noted that he's had only one meeting with Police Chief Alan Crump in a year's time. "And that wasn't a real successful meeting.

"He said he didn't need our help and that he had just come down there because the mayor had told him to. And I said, well, that's going to be a short meeting."

Prator said he does not know what the city is doing in terms of a crime-fighting strategy.

And he said his office has not been included in anything with police other than the narcotics and financial crimes task forces he started years ago.

"We don't have anything to do with crime-fighting in Shreveport," said Prator.

Following word of Prator's comments, Shreveport Police Chief Alan Crump sat down exclusively with KSLA Chief Investigative Reporter Stacey Cameron, to rebut Prator's comments.

According to Crump, the law enforcement leaders met at the suggestion of a Shreveport City councilmen, who wanted the two to discuss the possibility of joint efforts in battling crime.

"I did say that I was there because the Mayor requested me to be there," said Crump. "But to say that I bluntly said I did not need his help, that's not a correct statement."

"He acknowledged in our meeting that he did not have the manpower to help us patrol within the city," Crump said. "And I understood and respected that."

In fact, Crump said going into the meeting he knew Prator could not offer any assistance in terms of policing crime, so claims he did not ask for that help.

The embattled Chief of Police, who recently faced and overcame a vote of no-confidence by the city council, said he believed the meeting with the Sheriff was confidential and is disappointed that Prator discussed details about it in public.

"And to answer any other question, as far as strategy, he [Sheriff Prator] knows what we are doing just like the rest of the public," said Crump, making reference to press conferences the police department has held in the past and pamphlets distributed outlining the department's work with federal and other law enforcement agencies.

Crump also said council members advocating for the meeting, did not fully understand how difficult and unrealistic, from an operational and communications standpoint, it would be for the two agencies to combat violent crime in the city together.

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