Is downtown Baton Rouge turning into another New Orleans?  I go on a fishing trip and return to find that Downtown Baton Rouge has turned into a Battle Royale much like the annual Royal Rumble wrestling mania event. 

While applauding the Downtown Development District (DDD) for their continuous effort to create an array of entertainment hot spots, I am shocked to learn that no one counted the cost by planning ahead more wisely.  

It is utterly inexcusable to hear that no extra security or law enforcement personnel are required by downtown establishments serving alcohol.  Nor is it comforting to learn that officials do not make provisions for extra security during evening hours.  Crowd control is important and good common sense, especially when alcohol is being served.

Supposedly the incident was caused when a private party flowed out into the streets.  Since the DDD and Mayor have been pushing a potential open container alcohol waiver for downtown, there should have been plans in place to provide additional security in what is quickly becoming a French Quarter environment in downtown Red Stick.

I am still amazed that the Mayor’s office feels that the way to attract young people to our city is to spend so much time and effort developing an entertainment district that is so focused on alcohol.  Nevertheless, with these new activities comes serious planning and responsibility.

No big surprise:  When the media attempted to contact Mayor-President Kip Holden, one of his assistant chief administrative officers assigned to this issue was ‘unreachable.’  I would say that the Mayor’s office needs to be a bit more progressive than reactionary, but with no response – well, what can I say?

Booming stereos, cursing, clenched fists, and an AK-47 with 20 rounds in the magazine does not equate to what we were sold on for the development of an entertainment district in downtown Baton Rouge.  All of this resulted in law enforcement personnel having to be called off our streets from protecting our families to downtown to taser, pepper spray and arrest the rowdy group.  Is this really what we want in the Red Stick? 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

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