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Garden District residents split on potential security changes

2 months 2 weeks 2 days ago Thursday, August 03 2017 Aug 3, 2017 August 03, 2017 7:16 PM August 03, 2017 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Garden District residents are in a heated debate on whether to cancel their contract with the Baton Rouge Police Department or hire a private security service.

Many residents voiced their concerns on a social media post made by a BRPD officer, thanking residents for 15 years of extra-duty service.

"It's really easy in our society to go online and type some words and hit send of a post," Garden District Civic Association President John Williams said following the backlash.

"It wasn't anything we were expecting because we hadn't messaged anything to our neighborhood yet, because we hadn't mentioned any official decisions yet," Williams acknowledged.

According to Williams, only about 25 percent of 900 Garden District residents pay dues, creating a tight budget when it comes to paying for nighttime security. The Civic Association says they are crunching the numbers on which option is more affordable, saying the private security firm would not be paid hourly and would work every single night for the year. On the other hand, they claim they can only afford to pay BRPD for fifty hours a month.

Despite the argument from residents, some said they are open to security changes.

"I would probably be okay with it, but I would want to be given reasons why and all that type of thing if they did make that decision," resident Marianne Fry said.

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