Viewpoint: January 22, 2013

This year has started off on an extremely violent note. Not only is the waste of life sad, it's very disheartening coming off a string of months where we saw some great strides in the BRAVE program.

By now, we hope you are familiar with the BRAVE initiative. It's law enforcement teaming up to target specific areas of town. It's worked in many other cities and in the particular zip code where it's used here, it has worked, too.

Figures show in the last few months of 2012 murders were down around 20 percent in the 70805 area. In October, that area didn't have any homicides. While one will always be too many, it is comforting to see numbers that reflect the efforts going on in the 70805 area.

That is why it is so important to stay on course, even in what has been a violent start to this year. We applaud Police Chief Dwayne White's new policy that will dramatically increase the number of officers actually patrolling the streets of Baton Rouge. That should allow for more community policing, like the BRAVE program.

So, as January winds down, let's build on the success of BRAVE and keep the trend moving in a positive direction.