BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – This weekend, officers with the Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) continued attempts to open the lines of communication with the communities they serve. 

Officers met with residents in Old South Baton Rouge, near Thomas Delpit Drive and Lettsworth Street, for friendly visits that involved conversations about local safety.

One key aspect of the discussions was that they were not one-sided, with officials speaking to a silent audience.

Instead, they were a peaceful back-and-forth exchange that allowed residents to share their own ideas about how to improve area safety. 

Image courtesy of BRPD

After the 2020 killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, already shaky relationships between law enforcement and local communities of color/minorities waned on a nation-wide level.

Since then, a number of law enforcement organizations have been working to rebuild trust with cultures who’ve historically been victims of police brutality and/or unjust treatment.

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS OFFICE), encouraged law enforcement agencies to actively address the issue by training officers on three key concepts: procedural justice, bias reduction, and racial reconciliation.

COPS Office stated, “Together and when implemented, these concepts create an environment in which effective partnerships between the police and citizens can flourish.” 

A 2021 survey revealed that the efforts of such organizations have had some positive results. 

According to the survey, 27% of Black adults in the U.S. say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the police, up from 18% in 2020 but similar to the levels seen between 2014 and 2019. 

On a local level, after this weekend’s chat between BRPD and locals, police say the residents seemed glad to see them in the area. 

In addition to this weekend’s event, BRPD also holds weekly Community Walk and Talk’s in various neighborhoods around Baton Rouge.