SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - According to the federal government, gun violence in Shreveport decreased from 2017 to 2018.
Representatives of federal, state, parish and city law enforcement agencies gathered Tuesday at the federal courthouse in downtown Shreveport to announce the progress of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a national initiative started in the early 2000s to reduce gun violence.
The program has been in Shreveport for less than two years.
But David Joseph, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, thinks it's been a success.
"Research has shown that Project Safe Neighborhoods is effective in reducing violent crime and that the level of federal involvement directly correlates with violent crime," he said.
"We won't stop here. And our goal is to reduce violent crime to historic lows. We will not rest until that's accomplished."
Statistics released by the U.S. attorney's office show Shreveport recorded about 1,800 violent crimes involving firearms in 2017.
Gun violence is projected to fall to 1,600 cases by the end of this year.
"This is three times the number of these kinds of cases that have been brought than in previous years," Joseph said.
A hundred people involved in violent crimes with guns have been prosecuted in Shreveport, the federal prosecutor said.
Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler said she remains confident her Police Department can continue to aid in mitigating gun violence throughout the city.
"Not only are we trying to get those bad characters off the street, but we're not going to tolerate it any longer.
"We work collaboratively every day, really trying to get those guns off the street that are in the hands of felons and people who shouldn't have them."
The U.S. Justice Department has allocated $160,000 for Project Safe Neighborhoods efforts in cities in the Western District of Louisiana, Joseph said.
In addition to Shreveport, those include Monroe, Alexandria, Lafayette and Lake Charles.
The Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office and Shreveport Police Department hope to split $40,000 of those funds.
Funds acquired from this federal grant will be used to help pay for overtime for detectives working on gun violence cases, the mayor said.
"We're going to get you and we're going to take you off the street," Tyler vowed. "We aren't going to allow you to keep hurting people. We are going to take you off the street."
Parish and city officials hope those funds are accessible by the end of the year.