United States Attorney announces violent crime reduction in Northeast Louisiana
MONROE, La. – United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced today that the crime rates in Monroe have dropped in the wake of collaborative efforts to reduce violent crime.
Violent crime rates have dropped from a peak in 2016 of 1,493 offenses to 830 offenses in 2018. That is more than a 44 percent drop in the violent crime rate over a two-year period. The homicide rate has also dropped from 18 in 2015 to six last year – a 66 percent decline in Monroe’s homicide rate. This reduction in Monroe’s 2018 violent crime rate corresponds with U.S Attorney Joseph’s focus on federal violent crime prosecutions and collaboration with District Attorney Tew’s office to jointly identify and prosecute the most violent offenders. In the past year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana has prosecuted well over 200 defendants throughout the district for firearm related offenses, including felons and drug dealers in possession of firearms – more than 60 of which have been in the Monroe area. These prosecutions represent approximately three times the number of such cases as were brought in previous years.
The 2018 decline reverses a sharp rise in violent crime that peaked in 2015 and 2016 in the Monroe area. Law enforcement’s efforts to stem this rise in crime have involved local, state and federal law enforcement working together on a daily basis to share information and support one another in the fight against violent crime. Among other measures, the U.S. Attorney’s Office brought in two new prosecutors last year to specifically focus their efforts on violent crime. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has contributed to the effort by assigning a prosecutor in Monroe to work as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in Joseph’s office and provide assistance in the prosecution of violent offenders.
“I am pleased to announce that the trend of rising crime in Monroe and Northeast Louisiana has been reversed,” Joseph stated. “Crime rates are dropping in the Monroe area and, as a result, Monroe is safer now than it has been at any time in the recent past. One of my priorities as U.S. Attorney is to make our communities safer by substantially increasing violent crime arrests and prosecutions in the Western District. These efforts, in conjunction with similar efforts by District Attorney Tew’s office and our law enforcement partners, are clearly making a difference. I want to thank Louisiana Attorney General Landry, District Attorney Tew, Sherriff Russell, Mayor Mayo and Chief Ellis for their commitment and assistance to our joint effort. Through the collaboration of state, local, and federal law enforcement in Northeast Louisiana, this effort is seeing success. We expect even greater things to come.”
“The tremendous drop in violent crime shows what law enforcement agencies can accomplish when working together," Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said. "My office will continue to collaborate with our local and federal partners to make Louisiana a safer place for our children and families.”
“The safety and well-being of our citizens is a vital part of our mission,” said ATF New Orleans Field Division Special Agent in Charge Dana Nichols. “ATF, in partnership with the United States Attorney, the Louisiana Attorney General and other Federal, state and local law enforcement partners will continue to focus our investigative resources on arresting and prosecuting the most violent criminals who use firearms to terrorize our communities and on those individuals who supply firearms to this criminal element. Through the utilization of our Crime Gun Intelligence Centers (CGIC), and National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN), we will provide leads to investigators to help identify these criminals to further reduce crime. Protecting neighborhoods from violent crime is a priority for the citizens of Monroe and ATF.”
These efforts are part of the Department of Justice’s ongoing effort to increase targeted prosecutions of violent crime through the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program. The PSN program is a collaborative effort led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office involving local, state and federal law enforcement. In the Monroe area, participants include the ATF, FBI, DEA, Ouachita Parish District Attorney’s Office, Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Monroe Police Department. The program has been proven to be successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safe for everyone.
The Western District of Louisiana consists of 42 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes and covers the cities of Alexandria, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe and Shreveport.