POSTED: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 8:52pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 3:41pm
BATON ROUGE (NBC33) — The East Baton Rouge Metro Council approved $150,000 to go toward enacting "Operation Cease Fire" in north Baton Rouge.
"To go in, not only to target violent offenders, but to establish rapport with the good people in that community," said Baton Rouge Police Chief Dewayne White.
The money came out of the special programs budget, money that the Metro Council took control of from Mayor Kip Holden's office back in December.
The mayor's office said they agree with implementing Operation Cease Fire, but they wanted to use the special programs money to pay a lobbyist firm, focused on getting federal money for Baton Rouge.
"Our objection is to the source of the funds used today," said John Carpenter, Chief Administrative Officer for the parish. "Which we think should be spent on the purpose originally intended for."
That objection drew sharp criticism from Councilman Ulysses Addison.
"It's not either, or," Addison said. "It's not patton boggs or fighting crime."
Addison said the parish should have enough money for both Operation Cease Fire, and for the lobby firm of Patton Boggs, which officials credit with bringing in millions of federal dollars to the parish.
"We could find funds," Addison said.
Officials said Operation Cease Fire has been implemented in at least 30 cities across the country. It is credited with dropping murder rates by 50-percent.