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Grant to reduce crime in popular Tigerland area denied

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BATON ROUGE - A grant requested by Baton Rouge officials, LSU and the District Attorney's office to reduce crime in Tigerland has been denied.

Crime statistics were released along with the request for the square-mile area of Tigerland. According to the summary, the violent crime rate was more than 33 percent between 2011 and 2015. The national average during that time ranged between 22 and 26 percent. It also suggests if every 1,000 people, 212 would likely be a victim of a crime.

District Attorney Hillar Moore says he was hopeful the federal funds would help reduce crime in the popular area consisting on nightclubs, bars and other businesses often visited by students at Baton Rouge colleges and universities.

"What we expect is that property and crimes against the person will go down, the amount of arrest will go down," Moore said in an interview earlier this year.

Now, the money officially is not coming.

The federal grant for over $700,000 would have funded license plate readers, new security cameras, increased training for bar owners, more lights and more police officers patroling the area.

A statement from LSU grant writer Dr. Cecile Guin says "we were very disappointed, as we felt that we had all of the right components of the proposal. And this is one of the few crime problems I have seen in years that is very solvable, with the proper resources."

LSU officials and Moore add that the fight against crime and for funding in Tigerland is far from over. There are already plans to reapply.

Only five of the 49 cities that applied for the federal grant received money.

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