Murder Rates in Louisiana on the…. Decline?
Shreveport recently saw the deadliest month of the year in July, registering 12 homicides. In fact, KTBS reports that the homicide rate for Shreveport is up 31% over this time last year. As of this writing, Shreveport's homicide count is 48, just one less than the total number from all of last year. At the rate we seem to be going, we're on pace to end the year with over 80 homicides. So, where's the good news?
According to a recent story from The Pelican Institute, there is some good news. Louisiana, among other states, just might be emerging from the spike in crime on the backside of the lockdown era.
According to the data consulting firm AH Datalytics, yes, Shreveport is up, but it reported decreases for both Baton Rouge and New Orleans. And while the New Orleans rate continued to be one of the highest in the nation, its rate of change (decrease) was one of the highest as well. Both cities’ murder rates remain high comparatively.
The Pelican report continued:
The Council on Criminal Justice also released its Crime Trends in U.S. Cities: Mid-Year 2023 Update, which found homicides and most other violent crimes declined in most cities analyzed in the first half of the year, but remain above pre-pandemic levels. Homicides, for example, were 9.4% lower during the first half of 2023 than the first half of 2022; however, the rates remained 24% higher than during the first half of 2019.
Yes, maybe I'm grasping to find some good news. But at least there is some to find.
Local law enforcement, non-profits, and community leaders across the country are seeking ways to accelerate the declines through locally driven solutions.
Just recently the BHP Billiton YMCA held a public forum focused on juvenile crime that featured Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator, Shreveport Police Chief Wayne Smith, Shreveport Mayor Tom Arceneaux, and Caddo Parish Assistant Administrator Clay Walker.
After the forum, Walker told KEEL News:
The exciting news is, the Shreveport Police are doing a strategic plan. The second goal of that plan is prevention. And in that plan, that is rolling out right now, Assistant Chief Antoine White is in charge of that plan, and he's going to roll out some things that we're going to do as a community. And what we're going to try to do is have some very specific ways that people can get involved. At the end of the day, we're going to need to be able to put that 14 year old that's having some struggles.. I need to put him on a baseball team, I need to put him in the Cub Scouts, I need to put him somewhere where he has positive peers, and positive adult role models. And it's going to take volunteers to be able to do that.