Concordia Parish intel meeting gathers agencies together after uptick in juvenile crime

Published 3:03 pm Thursday, August 24, 2023

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FERRIDAY, La. — On Wednesday, the Community Justice Center in Ferriday hosted law enforcement from neighboring agencies, including Adams County Sheriff’s Office; the Natchez, Vidalia, Clayton and Ferriday police departments; FBI agents from the Alexandria office and Louisiana State Police as they all discussed youth crimes.

The group of approximately 35 people discussed resources available to local agencies through the FBI and the Louisiana State Police, said CPSO public information director Brandy Spears.

The increase in juvenile crimes, violent crimes against children, gang activity, threats against schools and school shootings were some of the topics discussed in the meeting.

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This meeting was not open to the public or to the media due to the sensitive nature of these topics. However, authorities said after that it was beneficial to have everyone at the same table and plan future meetings.

“Intel meetings will take place on a quarterly basis moving forward,” Spears said. “All local law enforcement are invited to attend. The meetings are not open to the public.”

Concordia Parish Sheriff David Hedrick said he was encouraged to have so many participants attend.

“(These) meetings are an opportunity for agencies to share information regarding crime trends and to collaborate their efforts to identify and apprehend suspects,” Hedrick said.

Natchez Police Chief Cal Green added that oftentimes, crimes that take place in one area are linked to another.

“We’ve got to build a better community network,” she said. “For example, if someone commits a crime here and then goes to Ferriday to commit another crime, we may be able to tie them to what it going on here.”

Green said it’s possible that the Aug. 10 murders of Brandon Brooks, 26, and Taron Woods, 24, in Adams County are linked to other violent crimes that happened earlier in Natchez.

NPD investigators have worked collaboratively with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office throughout the investigation. Four have been arrested relative to that case, including 22-year-old Emanual Hill, 24-year-old Jaddarius McKnight, and 17-year-old Jamarion Perkins who are each charged with two counts of murder and 18-year-old Zackeri Reason who is charged with accessory before the fact.

Three individuals were caught on security cameras carrying what appeared to be assault-style weapons dressed in full face coverings, hoodies and gloves when they reportedly ambushed the victims in broad daylight.

“We’ve got to figure out where those kids are acquiring these weapons,” Green said.

Green said the young adults and teens identify with nationally recognized gangs, but she does not believe they are officially organized members of those. Rather, they appear to have developed neighborhood rivalries.

“Education,” she said, is the best way to curtail youth crime.

“You’re trying to be territorial over territory that doesn’t technically belong to you,” Green said. “We’re starting to get more into community-oriented policing and in going into the schools. … Younger kids look up to older siblings, and if those older siblings are involved in things that they shouldn’t be, it’s a horrible, vicious cycle. I think we need to do better — we have to do better to save our youth.”

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said he couldn’t attend the intel meeting, but deputies of his department attended

“I’m definitely on board with it,” Patten said. “Criminals don’t have boundaries, but law enforcement does. Anything we can do to help CPSO with their business and anything they can do to help us is beneficial to all.”