BRPD looking to dramatically increase police presence going into 2020
BATON ROUGE- On Monday, Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul addressed the particularly violent month of November and how the police department is taking action.
A main focus for Chief Paul coming out of November and heading into 2020, is filling some 78 vacancies in the department.
“When November happened, it kind of took us by surprise.” Chief Paul said.
Baton Rouge saw 14 homicides in the month of November, making it the most violent month in 2019.
“What we did to address the immediate need we repurposed resources in those areas,” Chief Paul said.
BRPD reassigned around 80 detectives in late November to increase police presence in what they call areas of concern.
“I think that the community will see that some of those instant responses have had some successes,” Chief Paul said.
But Chief Paul said that some of those that were reassigned will have to return to their normal duties. That means bringing in new officers is a necessity for the department.
“We’ve got 26 police officers who just this week were released from the field officer training program,” Chief Paul said.
An additional 10 officers from other law enforcement agencies are currently going through a lateral police academy. And the 2020 police academy currently has 53 recruits going through background checks.
Chief Paul also said community involvement is key in solving and preventing violent crime.
“I know for a fact that there are loved ones. Someone who’s listening to us right now, someone who going to listen to one of these broadcasts, who knows that someone has communicated of there intent to commit a violent act on someone,” Chief Paul said.
Chief Paul said that some of the contributing facts to the uptick in murders in November revolve around drug and gang violence. But he says when the annual crime report comes out for this year he’s confident it will be the second year in a row that Baton Rouge sees a downward slope in violent crime.