Stacey Tinsley, Bossier Press-Tribune
On Wednesday, June 15, Deputy Secretary William Sommers of the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice, representatives from the Bossier-Webster Parish District Attorney’s office, Northwest Louisiana law enforcement officials and community leaders met at the Bossier Parish Courthouse in Benton in order to discuss issues and concerns that are relevant to Northwest Louisiana. One of the main purposes of this round table meeting was to address and develop solutions to the alarming increase in juvenile crime.
“There are a lot of issues that we have, whether it is at a state level or whether it is at a local level (and all in between). We fund a lot of different programs, but we can’t do it without collaboration and without help. The state’s system is big and sprawled out. We have 11 different district offices, all the way from Shreveport to Lake Charles. We have four main security facilities. I just want to tell you that our staff will continue to keep working, and we will keep trying to change the direction in which we are going. I’m here to help in any way the state can. We’re trying to fix juvenile justice so we can all sleep at night, we can all sleep better and we can all have communities that we like,” said Sommers.
Sommers began his career in law enforcement in 1984 with the Lake Charles Police Department. He also served in the Calcasieu Parish Office of Juvenile Justice Services for 33 years (the last six of those years as the director of OJJS).
The round table meeting was hosted by Bossier-Webster District Attorney Schuyler Marvin.