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Amid string of violent crime, BRPD and BRCC aim to use education to reduce violence

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BATON ROUGE - Even Baton Rouge City Police admit crime is at a frustrating level, and becoming an everyday concern for the average resident.

“We have young men in this community who would kill anyone of you just a soon look at you. It is our approach that we have to offer them options," Clay Young, a consultant for BRPD, said. 

Shocking and brutal crimes like a shooting in broad daylight at the Mall of Louisiana, a 3-year-old shot to death while sleeping in his bed, and this week, a woman stabbed to death on Facebook Live are starting to be seen as a common occurrence in the capital city. The violence, prompting BRPD to get creative with the ways they combat it.

One way they are doing so, is through education. In a new initiative with BRCC, police say the city's youth should hit the textbooks, not the streets.

“We will be able to provide financial support for students to earn credentials that align with high-demand jobs," said Dr. Pamela Ravare-Jones, Vice Chancellor for Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives at Baton Rouge Community College.

The programs will provide a pathway for those who are interested to become trained police officers by the time they graduate college. Financial assistance is available for students who are in need.

“For those who would choose other activities, keeping them in school, getting them a trade, getting them certified, giving them the opportunity to be employable talent, we have to make an investment there. But for those who would not, we have to support the judges and law enforcement agencies that take them off our streets and keep them off our streets," Young said.

A community gathering with a youth group called the Truce Team is scheduled for Monday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Gus Young Park. The event aims to acknowledge and uplift survivors of violent crimes in the Baton Rouge area.

BRPD will also hold another community walk Thursday. Location and time is to be decided.

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