City-parish leaders address recent violent crime in BR
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Leaders in East Baton Rouge held a news conference on recent violent crime in the city of Baton Rouge.
The Office of Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome joined Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul and partners to discuss public safety strategies and responses to recent violent crime on Thursday, Sept. 22.
Baton Rouge’s top cop today, discussing his department’s efforts to battle gangs and violent crimes—saying he called this news conference based on disturbing intel. “This day in particular day was selected just yesterday, based on investigative intelligence, which suggest that gun violence between specifically identified gangs in our city are looming,” says Chief Paul.
Chief Paul says there are eight gangs across Baton Rouge, and he says they’ll target each one, “You will see heavy law enforcement presence. You will see our tactical units, you will see our K9 units, you will see our aviation units. We are not there for the good law-abiding citizens, we are there to protect, not to enforce anything on you.”
Chief Paul said there is no quick fix, and it’s a complex issue that involves consistent and continued effort.
Their strategies include using community-based efforts involving youth programs, and safety and law enforcement efforts, including updating technology and task forces in micro areas, he explained.
Plans of action include continuing with EBR Violence Reduction Collaborative, honing in on those areas with a heavy presence of criminal activity, and continuing to engage community partners including those in mental, behavioral health, and criminal spaces, said Mayor Broome.
Chief Paul stressed that crime is a socio-economic issue. He said they have to deal with the root causes of crime but they are working on reducing the causes of crime with partners.
While addressing specific cases, the chief stressed that his agency is desperately searching for Luke Simmons in regard to a deadly shooting on Spanish Town Road.
He said anyone with information about his whereabouts should call Crime Stoppers at 225-344-7867.
The chief also briefly addressed the Allison Rice case, but he would not share too many details because it is an active investigation.
Detectives are exhausting every investigative lead and effort, he said.
Officials also denied the rumor of Rice’s death being “gang initiation and targeted attack,” adding that there is “zero indication of that.” They also denied the rumor of a witness being denied the ability to make a report, saying this was “absolutely incorrect.”
Mayor Sharon Weston Broome also spoke on Rice’s murder, stating last week’s murder has people understandably concerned about crime. However, she says now is not the time to give up on Baton Rouge. “I know there are some people who may be a little afraid, there may be some people who have elevated concerns. I get that, but I hear more people who want to stay put in their community and work to solve the problems and issues that we have,” said Mayor Broome.
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