Drop in vehicle burglaries in Bossier Parish part of overall crime decrease in 2019

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LOC campaign sings in local subdivisions warn residents about locking up their valuables and being aware of their community. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

The Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office says vehicle burglaries in Bossier Parish are down by almost half since 2018, and Sheriff Julian Whittington couldn’t be prouder.

“We have seen the number of vehicle burglaries decrease by 41.3 percent during the first half of this year when compared to this same time period last year,” said Sheriff Whittington. “We’re going to keep working to get this number even lower.”

The department credits the drop to proactive measures like the L.O.C. campaign. The acronym reminds residents to L- lock their doors, O- observe their surrounding and C- call the police to report suspicious activity.

Another initiative the Sheriff’s office took was forming the Joint Criminal Apprehension Team (JCAT), a joint patrol between BPSO and Bossier City Police Department.

Within the first six months of this year, the number of traffic stops have increased by patrol deputies to 82 percent.

“Traffic stops are the backbone in law enforcement. It makes the roads safer and it’s also part of crime reduction,” said Sheriff Whittington. “With 82 percent traffic stop increase with JCAT and regular patrol, it shows high visibility that law enforcement is out there setting the tone that this is a no non sense place. Were not going to put up with any monkey business.” 

In conjunction with the LOC program, Sheriff Whittington assigned a full time deputy to speak with neighborhood home owners associations regarding installing video surveillance equipment. 

“There really has been a lot of interest with neighborhood video surveillance. We are working with them to set up a system to where we can all work together,” said Sheriff Whittington. “There just isn’t enough deputies or police officers to put on every corner.” 

The decrease in vehicle burglaries came as the sheriff’s office also reported a decline in other crimes through the first six months of 2019. Crimes like robbery, homicide, and burglary are down by 12 percent overall compared to the same time period in 2018.

“Normally, crime ticks up when school lets out,” said Sheriff Whittington. “The combination of video surveillance, neighborhoods being involved and aware, and law enforcement — there are your results.”

Bossier City police also report a significant decline in vehicle break-ins, as well.

From January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019, Bossier City Police responded to 160 reported vehicle burglaries. During that same time period last year, there were 198 reported vehicle burglaries. 

That brings the rate of reported vehicle burglaries is about 20 percent lower than last year.