Update: Law Enforcement remains fairly mum regarding the escalation of crime in the Redstick. Major crime is up 8% with the largest increase in murder at 14%, followed by burglary at 13% and thefts are robberies tied for 3rd place at a 10% increase. It’s a commonly known fact that increases in theft, robbery and burglary will prove to be a breeding ground for continued escalation in more serious crimes such as murder. “What happened to Mayor Holden’s no toleration for crime in the Redstick?
Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Nothing good ever comes from violence.”
- The Advocate reports: 88 murders in East Baton Rouge Parish in 2009 (considered violent crime).
- There were actually 89 murders, as I give reverence to the fact that one woman that was murdered was pregnant.
- The statistics also do NOT include the additional deaths in vehicles, accidental shootings and self-defense. If those were included, the total would be 109.
- Nevertheless, of the 88 murders reported:
- 55 resulted in NO arrests (62%, not “half” as reported by The Advocate – someone grab them a calculator, please!)
- 33 resulted in 50 arrests (many had 2 perps, and 1 had 3 working in collusion to commit the murder). (38%) Of those arrested:
- 4 were convicted
- 3 had charges dropped
- 2 were acquitted
- 2 resulted in a refusal by the grand jury to indict
- 22 remain unknown/status unreported
- 1 murderer committed suicide
In August, 2009, Police Chief Jeff Leduff said, “Is violent crime up? Yes it is.”
Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, in that same interview, said, “I don’t think we can blame any of our current crime rate on Katrina or the aftermath of Katrina”. Important since the Mayor’s office often blames the influx of Katrina victims for crime woes in the Redstick.
Adam Knapp, CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, claimed in the interview that crime is not an issue for the types of businesses they solicit for the Red Stick when referring to export-driven companies vs. retail businesses.
That is the first time I have ever heard that crime is not a concern for relocating business and industry. Whether relocating or hiring good workers, with all due respect to BRAC, crime statistics and quality of life is always a concern and a key component in providing an economic development profile for a parish to prospective new businesses. Of course, BRAC leaders know this fact.
Mayor Kip Holden tried to play down crime statistics as well stating it’s not as bad a picture as is being painted. This is ridiculous. If Holden wants to be America’s next greatest city, as he proclaims, he needs to get up to speed with reality and understand that a rising murder rate doesn’t make for people flocking to the Redstick.
Evidently there are some who still believe if we click our heels and chant there is no place like home, there is no place like home, that all will be just fine.
In fact, everyone who is of sound mind believes otherwise. We can talk about bond issues, improving downtown, building bike paths, and creating amusement parks all we wish, but neglecting our murder rate and increase in violent crime will be a key factor in losing or gaining the best and brightest.
The fact remains that we have a huge crime challenge in the Red Stick. Arguing as to whether the population is accurate or crime statistics are in the city limits or in the unincorporated portion of the parish is moot.
Jeff Leduff said it best, and seems to be one of the few living in the real world.
Recently, this was evidenced by Sheriff Sid Gautreaux’s pitiful attempts to claim that murders ‘in his jurisdiction outside the city limits’ is down. Does he really believe we disassociate the city limits when thinking about the Red Stick.
Whether you live in the city limits overseen by the Baton Rouge Police Department or outside of the corporation limits overseen by the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, you should note that it was Sheriff Sid Gautreaux that proclaimed in his campaign for office that most perpetrators cross city and parish lines. So, if you live in Zachary, criminals from North Baton Rouge are too close for comfort. Just as those who live off Bluebonnet find Gardere far too close for the safety of their families. (If you want to see where you live according to the annexation map, click here.)
Safety is one of the most important aspects to our quality of life. An increase in the murder rate threatens the safety we all aspire to enjoy in the Redstick.
Dismissing the increase in violent crime and murder rate shows ignorance in its truest form.
District Attorney Hillar Moore came into office recognizing and moving forward with programs that will address this issue head-on by working with our youth to prevent them from taking the wrong path. Moore also recognizes the importance of protecting witnesses, and prosecuting repeat offenders. These are worthwhile programs and should be fully funded by the Mayor’s Office instead of creating bike paths from Memorial Stadium to Downtown Baton Rouge.
I would like to see Mayor Kip Holden return to his promise of “no tolerance for violent crime” in East Baton Rouge Parish. That would be time and money well spent.
We must build from the bottom up and work on the most important aspects of our quality of life with the safety of our lives, homes and families being paramount.
Until next time,
Red Stick Republican