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Some residents concerned with state of Baker police department; chief says all is well

3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago Friday, June 28 2024 Jun 28, 2024 June 28, 2024 6:36 PM June 28, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BAKER — As Baker Police Chief Carl Dunn enters his third term as top cop, he has a plan for the city.

"To continue to make Baker the safest city in Louisiana," he said Friday.

Dunn considers the reported crime rate in his city as one of the lowest, especially for this year.

"A couple of shootings and only one homicide for the entire year," he said.

But not everyone believes in the validity of that achievement.

"They said that and I chuckled. I figured it was a joke or a mistake or something," Baker resident Shaderick Emery said.

Emery ran for City Council this year. She says while she was going door-to-door for her campaign in February, she was met by a very irate homeowner who told her to leave.

"And then she pulled her handgun and shot at me," Emery said. "I do not feel safe as a citizen and a candidate."

The woman was arrested but Emery says it shouldn't have happened to begin with.

Another resident, Bill Johnson, has felt the same as Emery for a while.

"I'm concerned about our people in this city. That's why I stepped up to the plate to bring it out," Johnson said.

As a former law enforcement officer, Johnson says he is concerned that the department currently only has one detective.

"It's bad. People are stealing in this town. These criminals coming in here gonna take over this city if we don't do something about it," he said.

Dunn confirmed that his department is understaffed.

"Currently I'm down to one detective because I had two, but one resigned and went to the Sheriff's Department. I don't see that as insurmountable odds because like I said I'm still recruiting and like everybody else we are completely understaffed," said Dunn.

Compared to surrounding cities of similar size, it's hard to say what constitutes "enough" detectives.

Zachary, which has roughly 30 percent more people, currently has five detectives.

However, Central, which is about 2.5 times the population of Baker, has zero. Chief Roger Corcoran says the sheriff's office will send them detectives when needed.

Dunn says, regardless of staffing, he believes the department is doing a good job.

"We're doing fantastic with crime so as long as your crime is down, nobody is overwhelmed — definitely my detective is not overwhelmed because my detectives get more patrol time than anything else because crime is low in Baker, Louisiana."

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