BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Gardere area of Baton Rouge, which has long been plagued by crime and violence, saw more than an 85 percent drop in homicides between 2008 and 2009.
According to the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, deputies investigated a total of 18 homicides. Seven of those happened in the Gardere area. In 2009, a total of 11 homicides were investigated. Of those, only one was attributed to Gardere. Murders in the area decreased by 86 percent.
Longtime residents of the area have vivid memories of violent crimes. Alfred and Rebecca Davis have seen lots in the 15 years they have called the area home. Rebecca remembers watching as a man was shot in the head just a few feet away from her a couple of years ago.
With added patrols, community outreach programs and a full-time sheriff's substation, Casey Rayborn Hicks said deputies are making sure everyone knows big brother is watching.
"I think it's calmed and settled a lot of things down since they've been patrolling the area more," said Rebecca Davis.
Davis added she's grateful for the changes so far. However, she noted one murder, one grieving parent or one hurting friend is one too many.