Baton Rouge adds ‘boots on the ground’ officers to crime-fighting efforts

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (WVLA/WGMB) — Louisiana’s capital city is assigning two dozen more patrolling officers, as police respond to a chain of violent weekends.

Most of the Baton Rouge Police Department’s 26 field training graduates are already on the streets, Chief Murphy Paul said Monday. The officers will focus on the sites of recent homicides, including the multiple deadly shootings last month.

But Paul, who became Baton Rouge’s police chief in January 2018, said stopping violent crime will take a village — or in this case, a city.

“It’s family members, loved ones, associates of those individuals who are driving crime in our city,” Chief Paul said. “There are many institutions: family, education, our faith-based community, business community and the criminal justice system all play a role in ending this culture of violence.”

The chief projects the department will keep growing next year. He hopes to fill additional vacancies by the middle of 2020, with officers building partnerships with the public.

“When we get to that point in 2020, when the brave men and women of this community say I’m no longer scared, we’ve got your back,” Paul said.

Despite November’s spike in homicides, Paul expects 2019 will bring a second-straight year of fewer deadly shootings citywide.

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