POSTED: Monday, April 1, 2013 - 5:00pm
UPDATED: Monday, April 1, 2013 - 5:09pm
LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA(NBC33) — Since Sheriff Jason Ard took office last summer the people in Livingston Parish say they have seen an improvement when it comes to crime. Now there are numbers to prove it.
The Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office released statistics that show a definite improvement in the parish. The number of murders and rapes in 2012 fell from 2011 and detectives are recovering more property, and seeing fewer burglary and theft cases.
The numbers are proof to residents that Livingston Parish is now a much safer place to live.
The streets are a lot safer nowadays and residents seem to agree.
“I think it's due to the fact that Jason Ard takes care of business, he pays attention, he like nipping things in the bud,” said Denham Springs resident, Joe Forbes.
Forbes says he is proud to live in a parish that's growing by the minute, and now with crime down, he says that the growth will only come faster.
“I think property value is worth more because of the fact that the crime rate is down and it has also to do with everything house value," noted Forbes.
Residents like Valerie Lieneman are happy the sheriff's office is cracking down.
“My neighborhood had so many break-ins and the police have done everything they can to prevent it and they have really cracked it down because within the last 6 months we have not heard anything in my neighborhood,” she said.
And aside from fewer thefts, burglaries and robberies, residents feel as if the sheriff is also kicking the drug problem to the curb.
“I think they are making a lot of arrests specifically in the drug area that I think are important and they are doing a great job at that,’ said Walker resident Tina Mee.
"That makes me feel great because a lot of areas that I didn't know was drug filled you watch them on tv and see where the areas are bad get gave cracked down a lot. I am so thankful for him," noted Lieneman.
With less crime, many say they are proud to be residents of Livingston Parish.
"They continue to do what they are doing I think they are doing great a wonderful job and it just makes our whole community a better place to live so I am grateful," said Lieneman.
The numbers also show forcible rapes have gone down from 22 to 9 over the past year and there was only one homicide, the death of an unborn baby, compared to 2011 when there were 5 criminal homicides.
Criminal Homicide: 5
Felony arrests: 1,254
Property Recovered: $618,975
Motor Vehicle Thefts: 98
Homicides: 1 (Reynold's - Feticide)
Felony arrests: 1393
Property Recovered: $1,832,254.80
Motor Vehicle Thefts: 91