Posted: Jan 16, 2013 2:13 PM by Chris Nakamoto
Updated: Jan 16, 2013 7:00 PM
BATON ROUGE- Baton Rouge Police Chief Dewayne White announced progressive plans that will move his department forward this year.
In a one-on-one interview, White said the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination Project will expand to the 70802 zip code this year. Officers will also be outfitted with military surplus assault rifles as part of a pilot program.
"I think it's imperative that we give our officers and outfit our officers with the weaponry we are seeing and encountering on the street, give them the same tools as a counteroffensive," White said.
By the end of the month, at least 100 officers will receive the rifles. The City of Baton Rouge purchased the weapons for $50 each as part of a federal grant. Those officers will take classes before they take possession of the weapons.
"They will learn the nomenclature of the weapon, how to operate the weapon, how to clear a jam along with maintenance and upkeep of the rifle," White said.
The Chief also announced plans are in the works to have the BRAVE team expand to 70802.
"We know we have a significant amount of violent crimes happening in 70802," White said. "We won't remove the BRAVE team that's currently in place in 70805. We will just make a separate unit for 70802."
Right now, the BRAVE team has a proven track record of results. Take for example a recent case where Heroin, Marijuana and pills were found in a hollowed out Clorox Bleach Bottle. In addition to that, two handguns, an assault rifle and $1,100 in cash was found. The BRAVE team started last year as part of a $1.5 million dollar federal grant.
"We're seeing phenomenal results and we're getting bad people off the streets," White said.
A formal announcement about the new BRAVE Unit moving to 70802 will be made later this year.