Law officials being proactive to ease Barksdale commander’s safety concerns

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By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

As Barksdale Air Force Base leadership has expressed concerns over the safety of airmen, Bossier Parish and Bossier City ensure they are being proactive in order to protect military members and citizens in Bossier.

2nd Bomb Wing Commander Col. Michael A. Miller sent an email earlier this month to Shreveport Provisional Police Chief Ben Raymond with concerns about the safety of airmen and their family members after five people associated with the base have been killed during crimes in the past year.

In it, Col. Miller says, “I am deeply concerned for the safety of the military members and their families assigned to Barksdale Air Force Base…I’ve been stationed at eight installations in my 25 year Air Force career and have never experienced anything like this.”

Col. Miller went on to say, “I’m not sure exactly what needs to be done, but I and my commanders continue to advise airmen on the local crime realities and what parts of Shreveport and Bossier City to avoid.”

“A bit of frustration dump associated with this email, but considering my team has been through two more memorials in the past 30 days for murdered members of the 2 BW family, I feel compelled to express my continued concern for the safety of all members of Team Barksdale,” Col. Miller stated.

Last fall, Tech. Sgt. Joshua Kidd was shot and killed near his home in north Bossier. That prompted Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington and the Bossier City Police to implement the L.O.C. (Lock your doors, Observe your surroundings, Call and report) campaign and the Joint Criminal Apprehension Team (J-CAT).

As previously reported earlier this month by the Press-Tribune, within a six-month period, vehicle burglaries are down 41 percent in the parish. And overall crime is down 12 percent in the parish. 

“Our entire team at the Bossier Sheriff’s Office is committed to the safety and wellbeing of every person, both residents and visitors. As Sheriff my resolve for public safety remains steadfast,” said Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington.

From Jan. 1 to June 30, 2019, Bossier City Police responded to 160 reported vehicle burglaries. There were 198 reported vehicle burglaries during that same time period last year in Bossier City. 

The overall rate of reported vehicle burglaries is about 20 percent lower than last year. 

“The numbers indicate that awareness campaigns like Lock, Observe, Call (LOC) and policing efforts by our department are working; including a task force that targets hot spots of criminal activity,” said Tracy Landry, public information officer for Bossier City.

The Bossier City Police Department also utilizes its Armed Robbery Task Force each year during the holiday shopping season since 1987.

Bossier City Mayor “Lo” Walker says, “Public safety is our number one priority. We take all reasonable actions to prevent crime in our city.”