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Crime & Safety

West Monroe police street crimes unit reactivated



WEST MONROE, La. – The West Monroe Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit is back in action. The unit, which had been sidelined due to a staffing shortage, will focus on fighting crime related to drugs, gang violence, and sex.

“We try to stop it before it happens or catch people doing it in action,” said Sergeant Daniel Freeland of the West Monroe Police Department Street Crimes Unit.

The police department deactivated the unit in 2018, but now the department has more officers and reactivated the unit less than two weeks ago.

“They are a proactive criminal patrol unit which goes out and specifically targets areas with spikes in crimes, areas that need more attention. We don’t answer to barking dog complaints. We go out and watch for specific criminal activity to try and stop it before it occurs,” said Freeland.

“It’s three more officers out there that specialize in interview and investigation techniques. Being able to do surveillance, we wear different uniforms and we drive different vehicles. We are able to go watch certain areas and kind of blend in a little bit better. We’re not having to go to calls and respond to every call that comes in through dispatch,” said Freeland.

The street crimes unit is already paying off. Last week, the patrol division passed information to the unit, and they were able to start investigating, leading to a drug bust at the La Quinta Hotel.

Jessica Anderson lives in West Monroe. She says she’s happy to hear the Street Crimes Unit is back.

“We definitely need it. I didn’t even know that they took it away but that explains a lot. Back in 2018 a lot of people were calling to report crimes and stuff and nothing was ever done about it. I live in a really bad part of West Monroe that used to not be bad but over the years as I’ve gotten older it’s gotten bad,” said Anderson.

Anderson said knowing the unit is back in action makes her and her family feel safe.

“Definitely safer, especially for my kids cause I mean that’s who I’m scared for. I’m not scared for myself… I’m scared for their safety,” said Anderson.

West Monroe PD says it hopes to have at least five to eight officers on the unit in the near future.