Youths have become the faces of some of the violent crimes in Shreveport
“Too many are dying and or are parents at a young age”
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — At least five shootings occurred this past weekend in Shreveport alone, and one of them proved to be deadly.
Gun violence in the ArkLaTex has been a major concern for law enforcement and for the safety of citizens.
And in Shreveport, the number of shootings and total number of homicides are on track to surpass the year of 2022.
[RELATED: Community leaders, residents tackle tough questions about violent crime in Shreveport]
Shreveport police tell KSLA that the youths have become the faces of some of these violent crimes.
“Our youths, our young people are deciding to take out their difference with a gun. And we’re losing too many of our youths,” said Dr. Jeffrey Fobbs Jr., federal assistant to the president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.
“Too many of them can’t reach their dreams. Too many are dying and or are parents at a young age. And even their children, in a way, are being raised without them.”
The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives will have a symposium Friday at Huntington High School in Shreveport to address the issue of youths and gun violence. KSLA’s Domonique Benn will be on the panel.
Officials have their hands tied with the number of youths being in possession of illegal firearms on the streets.
“Our young people are more involved in some of these violent crimes, and that’s a bad statistic for our city,” Shreveport police Cpl. Christopher Bordelon said. “We want our young people to not be involved in those types of crimes, obviously.
“So what we continue to do is enforce the law the best ways that we can. You know last year, we seized over 1,200 firearms; this year, we are already on pace to break that number.
“So we’re hoping to continue to seize, take more guns off the streets,” Bordelon continued. “The more guns we take off the street, we’re hoping that will impact our violent crime numbers.”
The principal of Woodlawn Leadership Academy in Shreveport said he, the student body and faculty have seen a significant number of deaths over the years.
That number has become so disturbing that Dr. Grady Smith and his counseling staff have created grief boxes to gift students when they lose a friend or family member to gun violence.
“January 2020, just here at Woodlawn, we’ve lost 23 students who either were current students, Woodlawn was their last school of record or they were recent graduates,” the principal said.
Dr. Fobbs said that has become the reality for many people, not just here in Shreveport but throughout the country. “That story from the principal at Woodlawn has become the story for many principals.
“Right, we just had two students shot here in Arlington, Texas, today. First day back from spring break and we got two shootings, two students shot on the school campus. So we’re seeing that across the country as a problem.”
As for Shreveport police, they continue to be short staffed. But Cpl. Bordelon said that shortage is not the sole reason for these violent crimes.
“We want to fill that shortage as quickly as possible. However, we can’t just blame our officer shortage on the violent crimes,” he said.
“Ultimately, people are responsible for their actions. And when it comes to many of these violent crimes, the most we can do is respond and arrest those persons after they’ve committed these violent crimes.”
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