BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – Roughly 20 organizations gathered at the Downtown River Center Branch Library on Tuesday with one goal in mind: to make Baton Rouge a safer place to live.
“We have some folks that brought their full team, which we are really excited about because that diversifies how we approach a problem,” said Courtney Scott the assistant chief administration officer of the mayor-president’s office.
The Community Safety Planning Lab is a two-day workshop supported by Healthy BR, SafeBR, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee and The Bridge Center for Hope. The mission is to create collaboration between local government and community stakeholders and better address gun violence in Baton Rouge.
“We are collecting minds coming together, as one,” said Daron Brown with Safe Hopeful Healthy Baton Rouge.
“It’s about job support and education, revitalizing neighborhoods, mental and behavioral health, criminal justice and juvenile justice just to name a few,” said Scott.
Giving the different groups a place to connect and strategize is a step many say is key to tackling violent crime.
“Requires communication, requires strategic planning, requires coordination between all the different stakeholders and so just coming together to work with people from across different sectors, we really think we will address the current epidemic of gun violence in our communities,” said Brent Bailey with Community Justice.
People from around the country came to support the initiative, including Aqeela Sherrills from Newark, New Jersey. The executive director of the Community-Based Public Safety Directive said his team has worked closely with the mayor-president for years.
“We provide a whole array of services and support to strengthen and enhance the cities existing public safety infrastructure,” said Sherrills.
Participants are excited to be part of the change and come ready to support the community.
“I just believe that we owe it to our kids and our community to give these kids a hope for tomorrow because they are the future,” Brown said.
Over the 45 days, the groups are going to continue working on formulating a plan so that they have a unified approach across the parish.