Bossier City is Not the Promised Land [OP-ED]
We all know Shreveport has its fair share of problems. Crime is up, poverty is up, job opportunity is at a minimum...I could spend an hour outlining the issues the city currently face. But, with that said, it seems like a lot of people point and/or flee to Bossier City like its the land of Golden Opportunity. Which, I hate to break it to you, its not.
Bossier City is not some mythical land full of high paying jobs, low crime rates and amazing housing at cheap prices. Really, the only thing Bossier has over Shreveport is the school system. Now, I know what you're thinking...."that's not true, you're an idiot". And while I may not be the brightest, in this case, I have facts to back me up. The biggest factor in all this is a simple numbers game. There are twice the number of people in Shreveport than Bossier. More people, more problems. But when the numbers are adjusted to level the playing field...guess what? Both cities basically have the same issues.
Lets start with crime...according to the Area Vibes website (and several other sources including the FBI), the crime rates in Shreveport and Bossier aren't really that different. With the numbers adjusted for 100k people, there were 5,464 crimes reported in Bossier City and 6,406 crimes in Shreveport. Both of those number are significantly above both the national and state wide average. In fact, if you start looking at the types of crimes individually, the numbers for both cities are neck and neck with Bossier actually out pacing Shreveport in the number of violent assaults (650 to 597).
Now Area Vibes also looks at several other factors in a city to determine a 'livability' number. Overall, Bossier scores a 71 and Shreveport scores a 66. Both cities earned an 'F' on housing and real estate. Shreveport gets a B+ for cost of living, Bossier gets a B. Bossier has a slight edge over Shreveport in employment with a D+ compared to Shreveport's D.
Really, the only place where Bossier just beats Shreveport up is in the education department. Bossier has an A- compared to Shreveport's C. But, in all fairness, Caddo Parish has more than double the citizens of Bossier Parish...so more schools, more kids and more problems to deal with. And, Caddo Parish Schools Superintendent Dr. Lamar Goree was just named Superintendent of the Year for the State, an honor he earned for his amazing work with the schools in Caddo. So while some schools in troubled neighborhoods are struggling, overall, schools in Caddo aren't actually that bad.
So, you may be wondering, what's the point to all this? My point is that Bossier City/Parish isn't this wonderful oasis. The crime rates there are bad. Job opportunities aren't any better. The living situation sucks. There's literally little difference between the two cities. Bossier shouldn't be viewed as this wonderful place and Shreveport shouldn't be viewed as some sort of cesspool. They are both good places facing the same issues.