Fighting crime in Downtown Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE - New development has downtown Baton Rouge growing like never before. Now you can expect the police presence there to do the same. The BRAVE Initiative is now in action there, and a new police precinct is coming soon.
According to the Baton Rouge Police Department, the decision to expand BRAVE into downtown was made following an increase in burglaries, armed robberies and shootings in the 70802 zip code. They're using the same strategies there that brought them success in combating crime in other areas, like the 70805 zip code.
BRAVE targets groups of known offenders and gives them three options. They can either enroll in a self-development program, deny the program and stay our of trouble or go to jail with more severe consequences if they're found guilty.
"Some of them feel like there's no way out, and the BRAVE Initiative gives them an opportunity to see there is something else besides the element of crime they've actively involved in," BRPD Cpl. L'Jean McKneely told News 2's Rebecca Buchanan.
A combination of grants are providing $2.5 million to expand BRAVE's efforts to connect with the community and give those with a record a way out.
The new precinct will be in City Hall and operate 24/7.