POSTED: Monday, September 23, 2013 - 6:30pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 12:10pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — With a $1 million grant, the city's crime fighting program, BRAVE, will start working in some of the city's other high crime neighborhoods in the 70802.
“We have social networking involved with some of our groups that have alliances with others in 70805, 70802, some of them have existing disputes. Therefore if we would just target one area, we would miss out on a lot of intelligence and a lot of criminal activity that we could address," said Herbert ‘Tweety’ Anny, BRAVE coordinator.
The program will be expanding to four neighborhoods in particular; Istrouma, Greenville Extension, Eden Park and Midtown. Aneatra Stirgus lives in the 70802, she says she's been a victim of crime herself when her house was broken in to last year. Now she's excited to have the BRAVE program start working in her neighborhood.
"It will just be wonderful to have it. And it's just safe for the community to know that you have a lot of patrolling going on in the area, in your community," exclaimed Stirgus.
Bishop Raymond Johnson with Living Faith Christian Center, has worked with the program since it started. He explained that in the year since its inception, he has already seen members of his congregation turn their lives around.
"Just a total different outlook. Sometimes people get trapped in a cycle of bad company, bad behavior. But I think some of these young people are going to take advantage and see a way out and come all of the way out," added Bishop Johnson.
Officials have said it's clear BRAVE is working, the murder rate is down over 30% and so are all other forms of violent crime.
"I am willing to bet if it were not for the collaboration that we have with our partners here, including living faith and the community that we would not have received this $1 million additional dollars. our program is going to go forward, save lives and hopefully, eventually save the city,” added Hillar Moore, the District Attorney for East Baton Rouge Parish.
Mayor-President Kip Holden has said that his office would continue to look in to more federal grants to fund the BRAVE program for as long as need be.