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New BRPD Chief has first face-to-face with public

4 years ago June 02, 2011 Jun 2, 2011 Thursday, June 02 2011 Thursday, June 02, 2011 9:41:28 PM CDT in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Ashley Rodrigue

BATON ROUGE-  One community in Baton Rouge met with the new top crime-fighter in the city Thursday night.

Chief Dewayne White shared his background and goals with the crowd at the District 6 Community Meeting, but also listened to people with ideas and concerns.

White says in just his four days on the job, he's already trimmed the fat from headquarters and put more supervisors on the streets with their officers.  He says it's part of his biggest goal and challenge which is to get control over crime.

"It's when we become desensitized as police officers to the needs of the citizens that we grow apart from them and it's only through community policing and gaining your trust that we can make a significant impact on the crime problem in Baton Rouge," said new Baton Rouge Police Department Police Chief Dewayne White.

But people wanted to know how.

One man asked, "What can we do as a community.. as one?"

White's answer included door-to-door patrolling, which won-over several people.

Resident Tonia Jackson said, "He seems to be very anxious, very promising about what he wants to do, not for just one community but for the whole city and that's impressive."

"Hope he has more public meetings like this, allow us to get involved because the more we get involved and not hold the truth, not hold any secrets we can reveal to them in person some of the crimes that are taking place," said resident Brian Keiser.

The host, Councilwoman Donna Collins-Lewis, was proud of the turnout and the response to the new chief.

She said, "I hope people stay engaged. I hope they don't just come out because this is one meeting and forget about the whole process, I hope to see the chief out at way more meetings and engaging the with the public along with his officers."

White does hope to do that and get the same positive welcome he received Thursday night.

"That's so refreshing to me so that I leave here with a sense of accomplishment knowing that I was well received and that I have the backing of Councilwoman Lewis and she expressed that tonight and that's also reassuring so I look forward to what tomorrow brings," he said.

The chief says he'll keep doing public meetings like the one Thursday night.  And on Sundays, he plans to stop by churches across the city to develop relationships with congregations as a partner in fighting crime.

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