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Shreveport Mayor’s Response is Imminent Whether to Declare “State of Emergency”


Mayor Arceneaux says he will first allow council members to have a chance to read it before releasing his response to the public.

A long-awaited response by the mayor of Shreveport is expected either Wednesday[December 20] of this week or on Thursday. It is a response to the city council’s call on Mayor Tom Arceneaux to declare a “State of Emergency” because of the surge in violent crime this year.
We learned last week, from Councilman Grayson Boucher, that calling for that state of emergency was largely symbolic in the fight against the surge in violent crime in 2023. Mayor Arceneaux says he will first allow council members to have a chance to read it before releasing his response to the public. “We compute a violent crime index year-to-date for each month,” Arceneaux explains, “and right now, our violent crime index is down.” The mayor elaborates his point by focusing on two factors affecting that violent crime index.

FBI Crime Data Explorer

The first factor involves the public’s perception of crime, based on news coverage, and then amplified by social media. This year, Arceneaux says, is the enormous jump in homicides, from 49 in 2022, to well over 70. He says it's easy to get a picture in your mind of innocent bystanders or strangers gunned down. Arceneaux contends the reality is far different: “Most of those are, you know, they’re not random acts that are occurring. So, it isn’t just random people on the street. It’s people who know each other and have some relationship with each other.” Last week, in an initial response of sorts, the mayor provided a long list of operational and multi-jurisdictional programs already in place in the fight against crime in Shreveport.
This is where the second factor comes in: auto thefts. “Our auto thefts this year have doubled and so, it’s gone from 600 year-to-date last year, to about 1,200 year-to-date this year. So, I’m not, we’re trying to figure out what’s driving that and develop resources and intelligences to figure out how we can [do] more in apprehending the people.”
Shreveport City Council members are expected to see the mayor’s official response to the calls for him to declare Shreveport is in a state of emergency before the council meeting on Thursday [December 21].

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, and a graduate of the University of Washington, Jeff began his on-air broadcasting career 33 years ago in the Black Hills of South Dakota as a general assignment reporter.