The Shreveport Police Department conducted what many think is just the first of many major operations to stem violent crime in the city this past weekend. According to SPD, the department arrested almost 20 on felony charges on Friday and Saturday, September 24 and 25.

"Operation Blue Anvil" netted 18 arrests for various felonies and seized 16 firearms and narcotics including methamphetamine, cocaine, Tramadol and Oxycontin.

In addition, SPD also seized two vehicles in the sweep.

The weekend action supports Chief Smith's claim in a recent KEEL interview that under his leadership the department would be more aggressive and would implement "creative ideas in place to help bring a downturn in overall crime."

In a Thursday morning interview with KEEL News, Smith said his plan to take a more offensive role to combat the recent surge in violence, especially among the city's gangs, is underway. That includes, he reiterated, all officers spending some time on street patrol ever week.

"I've done it myself," said the Chief, adding that he spent Sunday evening from 5 til midnight in an SPD patrol car.

Smith also said the manpower shortage in the department is a problem that, despite the relatively low starting pay, is solvable. The Chief explained his plan to expand the recruiting efforts outside the Shreveport, Bossier City area, a plan to put new incentives in place to encourage more people to sign up for SPD training and what he termed non-traditional recruiting methods.

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