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City leaders ask residents to collaborate with BRPD to curb crime in Baton Rouge

3 months 6 days 16 hours ago Monday, March 18 2024 Mar 18, 2024 March 18, 2024 10:16 PM March 18, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - After a series of shootings in Baton Rouge during the month of March, city leaders responded by urging the residents to work together with police.

Monday night at J.K. Haynes Elementary, residents and city workers met to strategize crime solutions. Police Chief Thomas 'T.J.' Morse Jr. alleged a string of recent shootings are often directed and retaliatory. 

They are very specific, like this incident,” Morse said regarding a fatal shooting that claimed the life of 20-year-old Jarvion Johnson Sunday evening. 

The series of shootings started in late February in the parking lot of a small shopping plaza on Florida Boulevard. Cesar Ayala-Ortiz, 21, was shot to death. Police say the suspect in that shooting got away. Another 21-year-old, Abby Burt, was found dead at the Fast Lane gas station near the corner of Florida Boulevard and Marque Ann Drive the following week. The following day, 27-year-old Brittany Williams was found shot to death just blocks away from where Johnson was killed. 

A group of Baton Rouge residents met Monday night to think of ways to stop the violence around the city.

"There's something that's got to be done. We've got to think about the future," a speaker said.

Chief Morse outlined in his first 100 days plan, a goal of investing in crime fighting technology. As a part of the Page-Rice initiative license plate readers and crime cameras are being installed across Baton Rouge. 

Metro Councilmember Chauna Banks says letting people know the technology exists is crucial. 

"People need to know that these are technologies within the police department, so they won't think they're out there alone," Banks said.

While the mentioned shootings did not happen in Scotlandville, city leaders say there are proactive solutions everyone can take to tackle the problem head on. 

The apartment complex Capstone at Scotlandville was recently built as an option for affordable housing in North Baton Rouge. It sits in the same place where Elm Grove Garden Apartments once stood, a complex which used to face high crime. 

Developers with the complex say the addition of license plate camera tracking who's coming and going has led to a noticeable difference.

"It aids police when they may need some footage or if somebody came on to the property," they said.

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