Crime watchdog group looking towards Baton Rouge

POSTED: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - 5:15pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - 5:19pm

A New Orleans crime watchdog group is looking to bring their services to Baton Rouge. Organization officials think they could help the Capitol City’s justice system become more efficient, which could make Baton Rouge safer.

For 26 years, Rafael Goyeneche has worked to make the streets of New Orleans safer.

“The system, if you’re going to wait for it to fix itself, it rarely, if ever, will,” he says.

Goyeneche is the president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission. It’s a non-profit organization that tackles corruption and crime through research and community involvement.

“It requires the community to be aware of the issues and then to demand of their officials that changes be made,” he explains.

It’s his job to take a look at the crime happening in the streets. “It all starts with arrests. What are people being arrested for?”

Then, the organization goes further. They do research on crime from start to finish. “We follow those felony arrests to make sure that they get a conviction,” he says. “Then we look at the courts and see what the dockets look like.”

What the Crime Commission learns from the process can make a difference in how the criminal justice system works. “We are providing reports and those have provided the impetus to the criminal justice officials to make improvements in efficiency that result in a safer community,” Goyeneche explains.

Right now, the capitol city doesn’t have an organization like this in place, but Goyeneche says it’s necessary for change.

“If you don’t have somebody to drill down and lay this out, it’s very hard for a community to get their hands on that information,” he explains. “There’s a better way to provide for public safety and use their resources to maximize their mission.”

Goyeneche says he’s been working with officials to bring the organization’s presence here. No word on how long that could take.

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