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Newly signed bill to possibly create new crime prevention district if approved by voters

1 month 1 week 2 days ago Monday, June 14 2021 Jun 14, 2021 June 14, 2021 10:39 PM June 14, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE- With an uptick in crime in Baton Rouge, residents in Old Goodwood are relieved about a newly signed bill that would create another Crime Prevention District, if approved by voters this fall.

The Old Goodwood is a community that goes back decades encompassing more than 2,000 homes and businesses that could soon have their own crime district.

"It will bolster crime prevention in the area and allow for improvements,” said Norm Ryan, the Old Goodwood Homeowners Association President.

Which would affect residents like Stephen Harris who has lived in Old Goodwood for more than 15 years, saying crime has changed a lot.

"We've had our instances like some break-ins," said Stephen Harris.

Ronald and Betty Fenasci echo that sentiment, falling victim to the crime themselves.

"There were two people murdered at that time and vehicles stolen. We had a vehicle stolen," said Ronald and Betty Fenasci. They have been living in the neighborhood for more than 30 years.

The Old Goodwood HOA pushed for the bill after seeing the positive effect of private security they put in place.

"The crime in the area decreased from the private police patrol that we have had in existence for about 12 years. People have paid this fee independently and voluntarily for about 12 years," said Ryan.

If approved in the fall, residents will see some changes.

"They'll expect to see 18 to 20 hours of the presence of private duty police in the area, increased surveillance and security. Also cameras and the overall increase in crime prevention in the area," said Ryan.

Also, some fees totaling $120 a year which Betty and Ronald already pay for private security. They are excited to possibly see more people pitch in to keep the neighborhood.

"I didn't know this was going to be available to us, but when I spoke to Ryan, he told us about it and I think it's a beautiful step in the right direction," said Ronald.

Norm tells WBRZ residents will receive emails, letters and they'll hold meetings so everyone understands what a crime district is and what it does ahead of the vote in November.

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