Assessing Crime & Looking Forward in Shreveport/Caddo Parish
Police say homicides jumped 58% in 2023, compared to the previous year, along with a 25% rise in burglaries.
Shreveport Police Chief Wayne Smith summed up crime from last year by saying, “2023 was not the best year for the city of Shreveport when it comes to violent crime.” Police say homicides jumped 58% in 2023, compared to the previous year, along with a 25% rise in burglaries.
On Wednesday, Chief Smith and District Attorney James Stewart delivered their conclusions on crime and crimefighting efforts moving forward, at a news conference held at Shreveport Police headquarters.
The assessment was not all negative, as officials pointed out overall crime went down in 2023, which included a 7% drop in rape cases, and a 10% decline in robberies. Shreveport Police made 6,667 arrests in 2023. And despite the overall drop in crime, they actually booked more people into the city jail compared to 2022. Looking forward to the rest of 2024, Chief Smith emphasized the use of the department’s hi-tech crime-fighting tools. Those include the Real-Time Crime Center, and the use of drones and portable cameras.
When it comes to the Caddo D.A.’s office, James Stewart says in 2023 they had about 2,000 felony convictions, with 60 jury trials conducted by Caddo courts. It’s the most in more than a decade. More than half of their cases at the D.A.’s office originated with Shreveport Police.
Ivy Woodard with the D.A.’s office also highlighted the success of a project called The Harbor, which opened one year ago. Its mission: to reduce a disturbing trend of crimes being committed by younger offenders. “And within the harbor parents are able to get most of the resources that they need to make sure that their child stay[s] in school,” with Woodard concluding, “truancy really is at the root of a lot of this stuff. If a child is in school, he’s not out committing a crime.”
The Harbor is located off Knight Street, just south of Shreve City, with 55,000 square feet on two floors. It is a one-stop location for legal and social services, educational assistance – along with other agencies offering counseling, tutoring, meeting areas, truancy intervention, school attendance information and more. “That’s our initiative,” as Woodard explained, “of course, it’s not our only initiative. But that is one of the initiatives that we are really pushing because we’re seeing offenders, they’re getting younger and younger.” Stewart says of their 122 juvenile cases, they have transferred 22 of them to adult court to be tried as adults, based on the charges against them.