BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Baton Rouge Police are looking for ways to take people off the streets and put them in the classroom.
“I heard the chief last week say we’re not a village anymore. We have to become a village again, and he’s 100% right,” stated Baton Rouge Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Foundation Chairman Clay Young.
He said some feel like they can’t catch a break here in the Capital City, with violence becoming a daily concern.
“I’ve heard stories from people who live in some neighborhoods in Baton Rouge who sleep on the floor at night. Because they think they’re less likely to catch a bullet while asleep,” he said.
Baton Rouge Community College (BRCC) has joined the Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) in its fight against crime.
“Keeping them in school, getting them a trade, getting them certified, and giving them the opportunity to be employable talent. We have to make an investment there,” Young expressed.
BRCC leaders said their way to elevate communities is through education and that’s what they are hoping to achieve with their courses that connect straight to the workforce.
“We can’t save the world in one day,” stated BRPD Cpl. Darren Ahmed. “But we can put forth every great effort that we can to reach these young men and women at an adolescence age, create a pipeline to mentorship programs, and educate them in collaboration with some of our local criminal justice programs.”
They have also worked to remove financial barriers through some of their new grants and programs, so the youth can engage in things from classroom education to field trips and shadowing staff on the job.
“We are partnering and grant opportunities such as the current initiative with the Law and Public Safety Education Network,” said BRCC Vice Chancellor for Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Pamela Ravare-Jones.
“If you know better, you do better. So if you inform the community and there is that there is an avenue or a means to do better for yourself, then this is here for you,” added BRPD Sgt. L’Jean McKneely.
They’re hoping this initiative will both help ease the police shortage and turn youth into a productive part of the community.
“Anybody out there that’s interested. I’m taking the kids. Please send them to me,” said BRPD Sgt. Brandon Johnson.
A youth group called the Truce team plans to visit Gus Young Park for a community gathering next week to recognize and uplift survivors of crimes in the area. That event is scheduled for Monday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.