BRPD chief putting more officers on Patrol
BATON ROUGE - Chief Dewayne White announced plans to put dozens more Baton Rouge Police officers out patrolling the city's streets.
White said he plans to swell the Patrol division's ranks by not transferring out veteran officers once new recruits join the force. He said in the past when new officers joined Patrol from the academy, an equal number of veterans were sent to other specialized divisions.
"As a result, for many years Patrol has remained at roughly the same size, even though our population has grown and demands for services have escalated," White said today.
The most recent academy graduated 33 new officers, which are currently going through the Field Training Officers program. White said he'd also keep veteran officers after the next academy, which is scheduled to start in February and finish later this year.
"The net result of these moves should put nearly 60 more officers into the Uniformed Patrol Division, which is the foundation of our department and the first line of defense for the public," White said.
White also said he plans to assess all divisions to see if other officers could be moved back to Patrol to help beef up its numbers even further.
"They do important work," White said. "However our first and primary mission must be crime prevention and meeting the public's expectations for front-line service."
Baton Rouge Police has seen five murders since the beginning of the year, including three on the same day last Thursday.