Survey: North BR residents think BRAVE program is working

Survey: North BR residents think BRAVE program is working
Photo provided by staff.

POSTED: Friday, August 22, 2014 - 4:46pm

UPDATED: Friday, August 22, 2014 - 6:05pm

Violent crime is less of a problem in the 70805 community, at least according to a new survey by some LSU researchers.

They say the reduction is due in large part to the BRAVE program. The question is, do those of you who live there agree?

Statistically, BRAVE does make an impact. The survey shows, most people think BRAVE is a positive force in our community, but some people said officials still have a long way to go.

"It's a shame to have to live in a city where you're not safe in your own home," said Tyrone Thomas.

Tyrone Thomas lives in the 70805 zip code. Thomas said, it's gotten a bad name throughout the years, but for good reason.

"It's even harder when you can't walk out of your door to go to your utility room to wash clothes, and this is in broad daylight," Thomas explained.

Thomas said just a couple of days ago, his wife was attacked in their own backyard.

"Well guy came out the field and punched my wife, hit her down on the ground, and then took off running," Thomas said.

That is the type of crime the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination project is trying to stop, but Thomas said, he has not seen a difference in his neighborhood.

"So, my thing is if we get patrolmen, we may be able to stop more of the crime," Thomas said. "But when you call them, they tell us, they don't have enough units to patrol every area."

A survey of more than 1,000 people conducted by LSU Public Policy researchers shows nearly 60% of the community knows about BRAVE, and most of those believe it's made the community better.

"I see a difference. They're everywhere," said Amanda Bridges.

Amanda Bridges is a Baton Rouge native. She said even though she has seen a difference,
she believes there is more work to be done.

"Negative and positive, like I said, they tend to harass more innocent people, pull a lot of innocent people over, versus finding real criminals," Bridges said.

D.J. Jackson agreed. He is a barber at Prestige on Plank Road.

"They do their job. They do a good job, but they do good and bad. That's what I think," Jackson said.

BRAVE started in 2012. Since then, the number of murders has gone down 25%. Even though that's good news...

"But crime stop here. I don't care what they do. They're never going to stop crime in 70805 or 70802," Thomas said.

BRAVE does do more than just enforce the law. They also do community outreach programs, and offer education and other tools to those who've been on the wrong side of the law.

To learn more about BRAVE, you can go to the link below: 

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