SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A Shreveport native hopes the third time is a charm with voters as he seeks election to the City Marshal’s Office, where he believes he can make a positive community impact.
Anthony Johnson had a long law enforcement career while serving as a Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Deputy and later in the Shreveport City Marshal’s Office before he decided to seek election to lead a law enforcement division.
“I like law enforcement because it’s a service-based job where you serve people, and you can help people,” Johnson said.
Johnson is a former deputy with the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office. He served on a community task force focused on the crack-cocaine epidemic at its height during record neighborhood violence in the late 80s early 90s’.
“It was very enlightening. We had a lot of community support. The community was eager to have us there. Unlike now, we don’t have a lot of community support as it comes to law enforcement. That’s one of the areas I want to use the marshal’s office to try and bridge that gap,” Johnson said.
He wants the marshal’s office to be more engaged with the community.
“The marshal has a good opportunity to do that because they don’t have a lot of lack of trust in dealing with the community. So we’re going to need citizens to trust us, and in order to do that, you’re going to have to build trust,” Johnson said.
He wants to start with youth engagement.
“Build more positive relationships. I would like to start a marshal office positive engagement camp where we go into troubled communities and we engage young people on a positive level,” Johnson said.
By focusing on the areas that need it.
“Shreveport within the city limits is about 700 square miles. Out of all of Caddo, in that 700 square miles, we have more crime in that little part of city limits than we do in all of Caddo. When you have high crime in those areas, people call the police and really don’t want to get involved because we’ve seen cases people call the police, and they end up going to jail. So now you have people shutting down and not wanting to deal with police, but that’s not going to help us solve crime. That’s not going to help us make neighborhoods better,” Johnson said.
Johnson also worked in the City Marshal’s Office for several years after he was a Caddo deputy, and he has critiques of how it operates.
“When you look at the marshal’s office, it’s neither proactive nor reactive. They don’t do a whole lot. They are the only branch of law enforcement that works Monday through Friday, 8 to 5, and go home with weekends off. But crime continues to go on. So we need more of an active marshal’s office, and that’s my goal,” Johnson said.
He said the marshal’s office is an unused secondary police force in Shreveport. He has run twice to become City Marshal because he said he could lead the office forward.
“When you sit in an office and see how changes can be made, you know, living in a democracy affords you the right to sit down and do nothing or get up and do something,” Johnson said.
Besides his career in law enforcement, Johnson is a father of six who says he wants his city safer.
“To be a part of making a change in the city where my children and grandchildren live,” he said.
Early voting is from March 11 through 18. Election day is March 25.