BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — “It’s time to quit pointing fingers,” says East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux III. Baton Rouge leaders are teaming up to address violent crime in the capital city by creating SafeBR, a coalition dedicated to bringing solutions to the community.

According to a news release from SafeBR, over 100 local leaders in Baton Rouge formed the group to focus on reducing violent crime in the city. Government leaders, private businesses, law enforcement and nonprofit sectors are involved.

Organizers said the goals of SafeBR involve creating a system of accountability and focus on unity, outlining a plan for various community safety initiatives both short and long-term, developing clear financial giving opportunities, creating a website to track initiatives and providing updates.

The coalition outlines three pillars of SafeBR:

  1. New resources for law enforcement to enhance existing, and new, strategies proven effective in stopping violent crime as well as individual assistance for first responders injured in the line of duty.
  2. Community investment in evidence-based strategies to disrupt the cycle of crime and violence.
  3. Accountability and transparency for the entire system of justice and our collective investments.

“It seems every day our newspapers and social media are flooded with reports of violent crime
in our community, but that doesn’t have to be our reality,” said Helena Cunningham, National
Housing Consulting Services CEO. “Violent crime affects everyone – families, students,
businesses, and communities- and that’s why it will take a unified approach to reduce crime.
When we have business, government, law enforcement, and nonprofits all at the table
together, invested in the same priorities, and committed to a safer Baton Rouge, our impact
will be amplified.”

The father of Allison Rice, an LSU student who was shot and killed on Government Street, said, “The SafeBR Coalition and the Page Rice Camera initiative are important to me because there
are too many cases that are going unsolved and too many people who are still enjoying their
lives and freedom who shouldn’t be.”

He said he feels confident that if cameras were placed at the sites of his daughter’s murder and where a toddler was killed by a stray bullet, then those tragedies could’ve been avoided.

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