BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Phone lines lit up on afternoon radio talk shows Wednesday, as the news of Dewayne White's dismissal as Baton Rouge Police Chief spread through the area.
"Two years in on something as large as controlling crime is tough to measure."
"He came across as a people person and that's what the people need. I think this was a political move and it's one that shouldn't taken place."
But it did and that leaves many people in areas hardest hit by crime looking for answers. Herbert Moore is an elder at New Hope Family Worship in the 70805 zip code. He says programs like the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination project or BRAVE, implemented on White's watch, are making a big difference. Moore adds he now wonders about the communication between community members and the police.
"What about the rest of them that want to open up and want to tell what's going on and do things and actually make the neighborhood safe. What's next for those people?" said Moore.
Metro Councilwoman Tara Wicker has her own concerns. Like Moore, she believes White was on the right track and worries that crime reduction initiatives like BRAVE may not be a top priority for the next person in charge.
"In my district I've noticed a difference in the way the community has responded to the police department. They've been actively involved in community meetings and people were excited in direction we were headed so the biggest concern is does all that stop, what happens when you have a new person on board," said Wicker.
"Are the police going to keep doing the same thing they're doing? Are they going to keep up with same proceeds? are they going to keep our kids safe, our elderly safe?" added Moore.