SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator is addressing the widespread crime being committed by teenagers.

Sheriff Prator said he’s seen these spikes before but thinks the situation has escalated to a new dangerous level for innocent people.

“The tragic part of it is that you’ve got juveniles out there carrying guns like this riding around Shreveport. That’s dangerous. That is a dangerous situation,” Prator said.

He said the youth committing crimes are not victims.

“These are not what I called “troubled youth” that are looking for something like playing basketball or something. These people have a morals problem.”

“They’re going to have to be held accountable for what they do. You can’t just handle these kind of people with kid gloves on. They will hurt you. They’re out there killing each other and us,” Prator said.

Sheriff Prator said guns being used in these crimes are often stolen from car break-ins. In other cases, adults are selling guns to juveniles. He said strong police work is needed, along with enforcing the curfew.

“You’re not profiling people but paying attention to who’s in your beat. That’s so important and I think that’s missing. I’m not saying we go out there with a bunch of cowboys and cowgirls and go herd people up. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying we stay within the law but also get aggressive in our patrol techniques.”

He has a message for parents.

“Figure out where your kids are. Keep up with your kid! We need to look at the parents and say it’s your responsibility to know where that child was. Do what you’re supposed to do,” Prator said.

Prator also said the ungovernable child petition through the DA’s office is successful and encourages parents to use it if they feel helpless.