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Officials confident new efforts will reduce violence

Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 8:21pm

Law enforcement in East Baton Rouge announced a new, more academic element to the B.R.A.V.E. program, aimed at reducing violent crime in the area. For the first time ever, law enforcement is teaming up with LSU researchers to crunch the numbers.

"We have tremendous expertise, (we're) meeting regularly," said Matthew Lee, LSU associate vice chancellor of research and economic development. "And established a protocol to share data."

Data from every shooting in the parish will now be collected and given to LSU. Officials believe eventually a social network will be revealed, pointing exactly where policing efforts need to focus.

"The social mapping, if you've seen the map of social network they'll do, it just tells us where to go," said District Attorney Hillar Moore. "Work smarter, not harder. Real easy to see on paper."

The ideas are part of the overall B.R.A.V.E. program underway in the city. Officials firmly believe that if all aspects of the program are followed, that lower violent crime will result.

"We really have to follow the script," Moore said. "If we don't we're subject to failure."

But following the script may be harder than it seems. As the initial money for the program runs out, a federal grant will be the determining factor in whether or not the partnership with LSU will continue.

"If we don't get the grant, we'll tweak down the research part," Moore said. "But that is a big part of it."

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