Baton Rouge Police Chief discusses 2021 plan to address local crime
BATON ROUGE - Nearly one month into 2021, local authorities already find themselves consumed with investigations into homicides and multiple cases of domestic violence.
Despite such grim conditions, representatives of the Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) maintain that the capital city can see a reduction in these sorts of crimes.
Ever determined to implement change, BRPD aims to use 2021 as a stepping stone towards a more peaceful future for the city.
During a Tuesday (Jan. 19) interview with 2une In, Police Chief Murphy Paul indicated how a reduction in crime can be accomplished, saying, "One of the things that the Mayor has been pushing on the prevention side is we're going to have street teams."
The Chief went on to explain that when street teams were deployed in December of 2020, police saw a significant reduction in homicides.
He hopes that throughout 2021, more street teams will be utilized to increase the collaboration between individuals within the community and local law enforcement.
Chief Paul said these street teams, assisted by local community organizations, help to deescalate violent situations and create trust between citizens and those in positions of authority.
Paul went on to say that another way to reduce crime in Baton Rouge centers around the efforts of parents and members of the community.
"We need parents to get involved, talk to your children. We need communities to get involved," Chief Paul said. He explained that prior to committing violent crimes, suspects often tell their family members and friends about their intentions. These individuals who are aware of potential violent crimes must share what they know with law enforcement.
As a whole, Chief Paul was optimistic about the future, pointing to community and governmental initiatives that are designed as a collaboration effort with local law enforcement with the goal of reducing crime in neighborhoods across Baton Rouge.
"We're excited about the mayor's Safe and Healthy BR initiative. We're really starting to direct police resources to prevent this crime," Paul said.
He acknowledged the gravity of the current situation, saying, "The pandemic has presented a unique challenge in policing not just here but in America as a whole, we're seeing daylight shootings, we're seeing women, females, more (often)... as victims of violence."
But Chief Paul concluded that with preventive measures in place and support from the community, a more peaceful future for the capital region is possible.
"We believe we're hopefully going to get those numbers back to pre-COVID (statistics)," Paul said.
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