Shreveport and Bossier City are preparing to hold their annual Shreveport Bossier Night Out Tuesday night. It's the fourth year they've held the event, after holding it in conjunction with National Night Out in August the previous 25 years.
The event serves as a way for law enforcement and other city officials to interact with members of various communities in both cities. Law enforcement officials from both sides of the Red River also say the event serves as a way for people to become watchdogs in hopes of decreasing criminal activity.
"The better you know your neighbors, you know there habits you know there family members you know what kind of vehicles they drive the more apt you are to notice when something is out of place in your neighborhood and call the police," said Deputy Chief Duane Huddleston with the Shreveport Police Department.
In terms of crime statistics, 2011 was a banner year for the Shreveport Police Department. The department saw its lowest crime numbers since the 1970s. In 2012 however, the numbers have crept back up a bit.
"I think the last numbers I saw we were about 3 to 4 percent ahead of where we were last year," said Huddleston.
That can be attributed to the recent string of home invasions the city has seen as of late. Huddleston says to curtail the crime, they've allocated detectives and officers accordingly, in a more unified approach.
"We've refined a more team focused approach to dealing with crime throughout the city because in every neighborhood crime is different," said Huddleston.
Just across the Red River, Bossier City has seen its numbers go the opposite direction. Homicides have dropped from 7 to 2, and rapes have decreased from 20 to 18 from this time in 2011.
Bossier Police Chief Patrick McWilliams says his departments biggest strategy in keeping crime at a minimum is an increased police presence.
"The biggest thing we can do and that we try to do is a strong presence and being seen, being in the communities, being visible," said McWilliams.
Both law enforcement agencies are hoping the Night Out event will allow community members to get to know the officers who patrol there neighborhoods, in hopes of helping to further deter crime.
The Shreveport portion of the event will begin at 5 p.m. in the 3000 Block of Martin Luther King Dr.
Shreveport Police Chief Will Shaw and Mayor Cedric Glover will be in attendance.
Bossier City will hold its launch event beginning at 6 p.m. at Hooter Park.
Bossier Police Chief Patrick McWilliams will be heading the event. Mayor Lo Walker is currently out of town and will be unable to attend.