BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – This week, the Mayor of Baton Rouge provided locals with a first look into the success of a series of crime prevention programs launched in connection with the city’s 2022 Summer of Hope initiative.
The program was created with the aim of getting ahead of the typical spike in violent crimes the capital areas experiences during the summer months.
This year, the initiative involved 125 events carried out with the assistance of hundreds of community partners.
As summer nears its conclusion, many locals are eager to see how much of a difference the initiatives made.
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome addressed this Monday, September 12.
During an afternoon meeting at the Press Club of Baton Rouge, Broome said positive results were expected, “Our hypothesis is, in concert with mental health and law enforcement efforts, when we have this level of community engagement we see positive results to reduce violence.”
She went on to report that between May 27-Aug. 20, year to date – homicides went down 25%, stabbings were down 51-percent, fatal shootings were down 15%, non-fatal shootings down 1.3%, robberies down 12%, and sexual offenses down 6%.
Calls for services from the Baton Rouge Police even went down by 6%. The only violent crime that went up was assault and battery by 6%.
Mayor Broome explained that the events were carefully organized, and though they were held throughout the Baton Rouge area, most were held in parts of the city where incidents of gun violence occur most frequently, such as the 70805 and 70802 zip codes.
“It wasn’t just, ‘We’re throwing a party here, we’re doing this, we’re going to put some people out there,’” Mayor-President Broome said. “Everything we did was intentional and strategic. And I believe that is why we saw the outcomes and results that we did. We are not going to do anything arbitrarily.”
There are plans to continue events into the fall to keep the ball rolling, which the Mayor’s office will announce later. The metro council has also allocated money for crime prevention and behavioral health programs in schools.
“We will have to look at, okay, where is the greatest need at? What does the data tell us in terms of where we need to go, where we need to be?” Mayor-President Broome said.
She also said the 7% pay raise for police that was awarded this summer will aid in their effort to help with crime as well.
The full range of data in regards to the success of the Summer of Hope initiative will become available to the public Wednesday, September 14.