POSTED: Monday, June 25, 2012 - 5:00pm
UPDATED: Monday, June 25, 2012 - 6:11pm
Baton Rouge, La (NBC33) — East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore says the key to curbing area crime begins with law enforcement and the community.
Moore told the Press Club that law enforcement must dramatically change the way it treats communities in the highest crime areas.
Area leaders plan to do this through the BRAVE project, which moves law enforcement from less violent parts of town to the 70805 zip code, where 30 percent of the murders in Baton Rouge happened last year.
The program seeks to improve police perception in the area through better communication with the neighborhood while at the same time targeting the biggest offenders.
Critics of the program say that simply moving law enforcement from one area to another won’t fix the problem, and will merely cause the violence to move to a new area.
Moore says research from other cities that use similar programs show that won't happen.
"You may get to the second or third group (of criminals), and you may not ever get to the fifth group, because all the other (criminal) groups know it really is a different day,” stated Moore. “After word gets around, they might say, ‘Hey, maybe we better not do what we were planning on doing.’"
Moore says the parish needs more funding for the BRAVE project and are working with state agencies to find grant money.