UPDATE:  Tonight’s news reports two more shootings – one incident in South BR off Coursey and Stumberg Lane and a second in North BR around the Brookstown area. 

Despite public relations efforts of Mayor-President Kip Holden and the two major law enforcement agencies in East Baton Rouge Parish, crime is escalating to the dismay of citizens.  Residents cannot find comfort in hearing that ‘we only have 15 murders so far this year in comparison to 23 by this date last year’ (January to April). 

South Baton Rouge:  Over the past week a man stabbed another man while waiting in line at the Burger King on S. Sherwood Forest.  The same night just up the street, three men robbed the Subway (also on S. Sherwood Forest.)  A store on Highland Road was robbed at 5 a.m. – feel like the crime is getting closer to your neighborhood?  Well, it’s already in your neighborhood!

North Baton Rouge:  Tuesday’s newspaper listed four seperate shootings including a major shoot-out with over a dozen bullets fired on the other side of town near St. Gerard where two were wounded.  Bodies found strewn about North Baton Rouge is becoming a weekly occurence.  It’s more like the wild wild west in than the Red Stick!

Murder is the ultimate crime.  Violent crime is increasing as our drug problems and cost of living escalate.   Families are forever changed.  Children, spouses, parents, siblings, and friends from both the victim and criminal’s side must live with the consequences of these actions.  Life is meaningless to perpetrators who are more concerned with their desire for drugs, revenge or cash than for the life of another human being.

The burning question is:  What are our leaders doing to change this trend and how are the citizens being protected? 

I read a letter to the editor where Greg Phares, former sheriff of EBR Parish, stated that the new sheriff, Sid Gautreaux, could have put four more patrol units on the street rather than buy expensive vehicles for him and his top officer to drive around.  Gautreaux’s spokesperson said there were no vehicles appropriate for the sheriff to drive; Phares begs to differ.  Are our leaders more concerned with driving around nice vehicles than fighting crime on our streets?   

Ironically, Mayor-President Kip Holden is running for re-election this fall under the premise that East Baton Rouge Parish has improved.  In his state of the city address and 100 reasons for being re-elected he does not properly address the issue of crime.  The only time he mentions our rising crime is when he touts that he is placing cameras in high crime areas and that over two years ago they addressed the growing crime rate in Zion City. 

What is our Mayor-President doing NOW about the crime in OUR neighborhoods?  Is he going to place cameras in every inch of our parish?  Does he really believe cameras do anything other than catching a criminal AFTER the crime is committed?  Cameras do not deter crime.

It’s time for a change.  Public safety is the number one issue.  Unless we want this wild wild west shoot-out mentality to continue in EBR Parish, we need to elect a new Mayor that will address crime issues more aggressively and lead the charge for safety of our families.   

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican