Bossier Parish public safety about support, collaboration

The Bossier Chamber of Commerce hosted the State of Public Safety on Wednesday, to let our local law enforcement officials in Bossier Parish talk about how they are keeping us safe.

All of the officials said the No. 1 thing that helps them in keeping Bossier Parish safe is the support of residents and businesses alike.

Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian Whittington, who helped bring the entities together for the forum, said the low crime rate in Bossier is what draws people to the parish.

“You expect it. You demand it. That’s the easy part,” Whittington said. “Thank you for supporting it.”

And, all entities praised the others as they work together for public safety and criminal justice in Bossier.

“I have never seen public officials, law enforcement, school officials work together like they do in Bossier Parish,” said Bossier City Mayor Lorenz “Lo” Walker.

The Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office boasted Bossier is one of only two parishes in the state with a School Resource Officer at every school.

BPSO’s most successful new venture is the LOC campaign – Lock, Observe and Call. The campaign, along with the Joint Criminal Apprehension Taskforce (JCAT), has brought the number of vehicle burglaries down by 40 percent since its inception.

Other ongoing projects for the Sheriff’s Office include working with the U.S. Attorney’s office on human trafficking and continuing to be innovative in the department’s use of technology through drones and software.

Bossier city Marshall Jim Whitman has had great success bringing in offenders of Internet crimes against children.

“Your support is crucial,” Whitman said.

Louisiana State Police Captain Cordell Williams and Lt. Barry Spinney spoke about Destination Zero Deaths – their initiative to eliminate the top four causes of 78 percent of fatalities – aggressive drivers, distracted drivers, seat belt usage and impaired drivers.

District Attorney Schuyler Marvin, for the 26th Judicial District, highlighted the work of the North Louisiana Crime Lab serves 29 parishes across the top of the state. The lab has moved their autopsies to LSU Health recently, instead of going out of town. Also, they are now utilizing simulcasting for testimonies by crime lab analysts.

“The crime lab is a tremendous partner for law enforcement,” Marvin said.

26th Judicial Court Judge Mike Nerren again touted the work of the entire parish in keeping the justice system running smoothly

“The lion’s share of this job is taken up by these agencies (sheriff, police, D.A.) and you should be proud of them,” Nerren said.