- Elliott Stonecipher
Thursday, August 10, 2017 … 7:41 P.M.
Not since the worst-of-the-worst days of Shreveport crime in the late 1980s have I heard as much worry about it as now.
My research finds a good reason: positive crime facts and news over recent years have now strongly reversed.
Looking at the seven-year period 2010 through 2016 explains much. From high-fives all around at the start of that run, thirteen-of-sixteen Shreveport Police Department crime categories are now worsening.
When then-new Police Chief Willie L. Shaw, Jr., released his Annual Crime Report message in 2010, the news was solid …
… “The Shreveport Police Department is proud to announce overall crime numbers continued to drop in 2010. … Every major category of crime, with the exception of rape, saw decreases in 2010.”
But, by the time Chief Shaw signed his Annual Crime Report message about the 2015 data, the good news was giving way to bad …
… “The books have been closed on another year and we are proud to announce crime in our city continues to remain below average yearly numbers for more than four decades. Some categories of crime increased last year when compared to the 39-year historic low figure of 10,746 reported in 2014.”
Soon thereafter, a bit over a year ago, both Chief Shaw and Deputy Chief Duane Huddleston, with 60 years of combined SPD experience, announced they were retiring.
Mayor Ollie Tyler, elected in late 2014, now has the reins, of course … along with her preferred Chief of Police, Alan Crump, a quarter-century Department veteran.
First in this analysis are four very important, broader measurements:
… Shreveport’s population has dropped, reports the Census Bureau, from 199,311 in 2010 to 194,902 as of July 1, 2016 … a -2.2% loss of -4,409 residents.
… The whole of our SPD staff has grown, from 739 in 2010 up to 770 in 2016, a +4.0% rise.
… Core “Uniform Services” personnel increased from 431 to 460, up +6.7%.
… Total SPD annual spending has risen +14.7%, from $51,667,800 in the city’s 2010 budget to $59,251,700 in 2016 … an additional $7,583,900.
None of that is making the difference. Even with notably fewer residents, more police officers, and more spending for that force, crime heads up …
… SPD’s report of 11,173 crimes in 2010 jumped to 12,566, or +12.5%, by 2016.
Alarmingly, homicides lead the rise in crime … up +53.3% … from 30 in 2010 to 46 in 2016.
In the first half of 2017, there have been 24 murders, which, when annualized, suggests 48 by year-end.
Violent Crimes, the top six categories shown below, rose +20.0%, from 1,547 to 1,857.
Only three crime categories dropped, Business Burglary, Purse Snatching and General Theft.
Here is the crime increase or decrease, by category, in 2010 through 2016 (SEE links below):
Person Robbery +35.3%
Business Robbery +43.3%
Aggravated Battery +4.2%
Aggravated Assault +24.4%
VIOLENT CRIMES: +20.0%
Residential Burglary -16.4%
Business Burglary +9.7%
Purse Snatching -10.7%
Shoplifting + 9.5%
Theft from Business +20.3%
Theft from Residence +18.2%
Auto Accessory Theft +15.4%
Theft from Auto +41.1%
Theft General – 2.3%
Auto Theft +42.6%
TOTAL CRIMES: +12.5%
Based on messages to me, public confidence in Mayor Tyler and “her” Chief of Police is much too low as this rise in crime threatens.
Our Mayor’s perceived emphasis on such pet projects as the downtown aquarium, semi-pro basketball team, and sports arena – rather than rising crime – is at the heart of our discomfort … and does not bode well for Shreveport.
© 2017 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Shreveport Police Department Annual Crime Report Archive, 2010-2014:
SPD Annual Crime Report 2015:
SPD Annual Crime Report 2015-2016: