Gardere is safer now
BATON ROUGE- There has been a steady drop in crime in Gardere, an area famous for issues.
A review of the crime reports, obtained by WBRZ, show things are changing for the better. There has been a downward trend since 2008. Most recently, theft, burglary, narcotics, and reports of shots being fired have all decreased.
Extra attention by the sheriff's office, the arrest of the Big Money Block Boyz gang and efforts from citizens has fueled the change.
"One of the things is, you don't have a whole lot of them hanging out and being influenced by the bad group that was here," said youth leader Darin Fontenette. Fontenette is part of the Gardere Initiative, a group working to make positive change in the area.
"You're not as intimidated as you was before and, you know, you don't see them hanging out. You can ride around, drive and walk and be comfortable and safe," he said.
"I think everyone in the community is standing up and saying, 'we want to take it back,'" sheriff's spokesperson Casey Hicks said.
"It's not all the way there, but you have to take precautions everywhere you go," Gardere resident Chanea Wannamaker said.
IMAGE: File photo of 2010 crime scene where 21-year-old Javon Brooks was shot and killed.