Ascension Parish’s chief law enforcement official told city councilmen Tuesday that his office is taking an “in-your-face” approach to address the spike in violent crime in the parish seat.

Sheriff Jeff Wiley said the resolve of his department remains strong to curb the recent spike in shootings.

One trend Wiley said is growing is use of social media, such as Facebook, by some to brag about committing violent crime.

“I’ve taken to calling out these cowardly thugs who think they’re bad asses,” Wiley said.

The Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the recent slayings and shootings in Donaldsonville, Wiley said, with varying levels of progress.

One of the most recent incidents still under investigation is the April 8 shooting of a 9-year-old boy who was wounded when gunfire hit a house along St. Patrick Street. Wiley said he needs the public’s help with information in the case.

The Sheriff’s Office will soon begin advertising a tip hotline, in conjunction with Crime Stoppers, offering cash rewards for information in violent crimes, Wiley said.

The sheriff also said a “clear and distinct nexus of drugs” seems to be at the core of the crime spree, adding that his office is increasing its presence in high-crime areas.

Wiley also said he is surprised that the community hasn’t shown more outrage over the crimes.

Councilmen told Wiley they feel more outreach efforts are needed to build trust between the community and law enforcement.