MANSFIELD, La - Residents have seen a spike in reported gun crimes recently - 38 shots fired calls reported last year to 50 so far this year. One person has been shot and killed in Mansfield in 2020 and another in Desoto Parish. 

Billy Locke, assistant chief of the Mansfield Police Department, says he wants to stop the violence and needs community support.

"Well, what they're going to see is more vehicles out on the street," Locke said. "They going to see city police officers...and Sheriff's deputies. They're going to also see state troopers. If the citizens have something they want to say, flag that officer down and tell 'em what's up. We're out there for them." 

Both police and the Desoto Sheriff's Department say they will not target specific neighborhoods during their patrols.. 

Deputy Mark Pearce, public information officer of Desoto Parish Sheriff's Office, says deputies plan to meet and greet with residents to build better community relationships. 

"The aim of this is not to just to get out into the community in a threatening manner or anything like that," Pearce said. "It's to get out into the community and talk to folks to basically understand what's going on in their neighborhood. To understand that we're trying to work together with the community to keep the community safe."

Mentie Griffin, a Mansfield resident, says she welcomes the increased presence of the police.

"Well, if we see that, it would make us feel better to see more police out," Griffin said. "And when you need them, they can come and assist you with what every may be going on."

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