BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – At the start of the pandemic, Baton Rouge experienced a spike in violent crime that lasted for nearly two years.

Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) Chief Murphy Paul said the department set four goals last year to reduce gun violence.

“It addressed not only enforcement intervention and prevention as well,” said Paul.

Chief Paul explained that last year, Baton Rouge saw a drop in homicides by over 21%, a nearly 15% decrease in non-fatal shooting incidents and overall calls for services dropped.

“Police officers were out there busy trying to make sure that our city was safe,” Paul said.

According to Chief Paul, officers made over 4,000 felony arrests, 500 arrests of juveniles, and wrote over 34,000 traffic citations and parking tickets.

“Homicides and shootings are what we have been focusing a lot on,” Paul said.

But where are we today in 2023?

“We are seeing a 50% decrease in homicides compared to last year and a 25% decrease of shooting incidents and a 13% decrease in shooting victims,” he said.

And he said the number of incidents and internal affair complaints inside the force has decreased.

“In five years use of force incidents are down 40% since 2018,” Paul said. “Internal affairs complaints are down 50%.”

Going forward, Chief Paul said it will take the entire community to reduce crime in the city.