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Chief awarded for BRPD community relations

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BATON ROUGE- Baton Rouge Police Chief Dewayne White received an award for working to strengthen police and community relations in North Baton Rouge.

Chief White wasn't afraid to shed some tears in front of the congregation at Mt Carmel Baptist Church, as he explained why he wants to make the department more approachable.

"It's the most humbling day of my life," White said. "One issue with the BRAVE team that we've used is have them go out in the community and interact with people. Not as police officers but as people."

According to a consortium of a group of 22 churches in Baton Rouge Whites plan is working, so they presented him with an award.

Reverend Conway Knighton says, "We like what he's doing with the brave program. How he's trying to reach young people and not just lock ‘em up."

The BRAVE program started in June 2012. It's a partnership with law enforcement designed to reduce and eliminate violent crime in Baton Rouge starting with the notorious 70805 zip code.

The area is where police say nearly 30 percent of the city's homicides and 40 percent of major assaults happen.

Sadie Fowler of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church say, The children is the next generation. If things happen to them the next generation will not grow up. "

Only time will tell if the BRAVE program will work, but Chief White believes they are on the right track to fighting crime.

He says, "Our neighbors are not just the people who live next door to us. Our neighbors are everybody they come in all different colors they come in all different ethnicities." White adds, "We have to come together as a community and believe that that concept it has to be embraced."

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