JENNINGS, LA (KPLC-TV) – With the rise of violent crime in Jennings this year, Louisiana State Police are stepping in with increased patrols in south Jennings.
For the last three weeks, state troopers have patrolled up and down the streets, making 18 drug-related arrests so far.
Sergeant James Anderson with Troop D, said the governor's office requested the troopers patrol south Jennings after hearing several calls from concerned citizens.
"We're there to assist the city police," said Sgt. Anderson. "We're there to assist the sheriff's office to try to make it safer for the good citizens of Jennings."
The state police patrol the area mostly at night when more people are on the streets.
Some people have complained that state police are stopping innocent people and harassing them. State police say they have had three meetings to hear citizens concerns, but attendance for those meetings was low.
Paul Broussard is a longtime Jennings resident and supports the state police patrolling the area.
"I think what the state police is doing right now, I think they're doing a good job," said Broussard. "I think it should continue."
Broussard said one of the main reasons young people in Jennings turn to crime is because there are few positive activities for them to do when they are outside of school. Broussard said older citizens are likely to feel safe enough to walk around their neighborhoods knowing state police are patrolling.
"The minute [the state police] stop, the streets are going to fill back up with the youngsters again," said Broussard.
Sergeant Anderson does not know how long state police will be assigned on the south side of Jennings.