Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Data shows homicide rate is down 35%, lowest since 2017

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BATON ROUGE- Officials say their efforts to lower the crime rate are working.

"Looks like at this point, we're going to have one of the best safest years, despite what it looks and feels like to people," District Attorney Hillar Moore said.

The latest data which shows the first few months of 2023 include the lowest number of homicides his office has seen for this time of year since 2017. The numbers combine investigations from both the sheriff's office and city police.

"At this point, no one is claiming victory, whatsoever, overall murder rate is down 35%," Moore said.

Officials credit the downturn to the public safety partnership they announced in November. The ongoing plan, includes school-based outreach, town hall meetings and community policing.

Police say they immediately go to an area after a shooting to establish relationships, teach the community about resources and work to prevent retaliation shootings.

"The data shows us those neighborhood connections are making a difference," Mayor Sharon Weston Broome said.

"I do believe they are fast becoming one of the models in gun violence reduction in the country," Nola Joyce with the Department of Justice said.

Officials say there is still more work to be done in the City-Parish and at the state level. Moore is hoping two bills he helped author become law, including one that redefines what qualifies as a machine gun and who can own one. He says guns being modified into fully-automatic weapons is an increasing problem.

"At this time, we have around 125 machine gun cases in the office," Moore said.

The other bill would help monitor people accused of a dangerous crime while they are out on bond.

Find the entire report here.


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