BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A new camera initiative, the Page-Rice Initiative, was introduced by several agencies aiming to fight crime in select areas.

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) and the Baton Rouge Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice Foundation introduced the Page/Rice Camera Initiative on Tuesday morning.

The initiative is named in honor of recent crime victims three-year-old Devin Page, Jr. and LSU student Allison Rice. It entails partnering with Project NOLA and E-South Technologies. The companies are installing high-tech crime cameras on a business or surrounding properties in high-crime areas.

The cameras, installed by Project NOLA, are linked to local real-time crime centers to be easily viewed by the Sheriff and Police departments and made accessible to the business and law enforcement after an incident occurs. 

Devin Page Jr. is the three-year-old who was shot and killed in his bedroom by an astray bullet. “Until it happens to you, you don’t say anything. and we’re trying to prevent this from happening to your child,” said Cathy Toliver, Devin Page Jr.’s grandmother.

Along with Toliver, is the family of Allision Rice. Rice was shot and killed in her car in downtown Baton Rouge in a drive-by shooting.

“There’s so much we could be farther along in our investigation, solving our case, if there have been cameras,” said Paul Rice, Allison Rice’s father.

There are currently 26 crime cameras installed, and local law enforcement is wanting the community to get involved with this initiative.

“The more cameras that are out there, the more witnesses that are out there,” said Baton Rouge Police Chief, Murphy Paul.

Project NOLA high-resolution cameras have helped reduce carjacking by 40% and violent crimes by 80% in New Orleans. With statistics reducing at this rate, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff, Sid Gautreaux, says this will benefit the community and make a difference, with this tremendous tool. He also states how cameras can be our eyes 24/7, 365 days a year.

The cost for the camera is originally $10,000. With help from these local agencies and federal funding, the cameras through the Page-Rice Initiative will cost $2,600.

The Baton Rouge Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice Foundation is accepting requests to be considered to receive a camera at no cost through its grant program and collecting donations for additional community cameras.

The cost to install a crime camera varies on the geographical location and historical crime activity. After the initial installation, average operating costs are estimated to be around $500 annually and camera recipients must provide electricity and internet connection. 

To learn more about the initiative and apply for, purchase, or donate a camera, click here.