Breaking down the cost of the BRAVE initiative

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Baton Rouge is apparently seeing a drop in violent crime. LSU researchers found a 35 percent decrease in the past two years since the BRAVE initiative.

With another million dollars added to the effort, here's a breakdown of who's helping curb crime and how much they're getting, according to the mayor's office:

Personnel (For Community Outreach Specialist
and BRPD overtime)
Fringe benefits (Health benefits and retirement)   $87,035
Travel   $8,280
Indirect costs   $37,745
Proposed consultants/contracts:    
Living Faith
Local job assessment/placement entity
Law schools
Sheriff's office - overtime
Capital Area Human Services District

Living Faith is a local church that has signed on to help with BRAVE's efforts to clean up crime in North Baton Rouge, as the initiative expands to the 70802 zip code. Bishop Raymond Johnson says it's time for crime to meet the cross.

"We have people who've been to prison, been in a lot of things they're not proud of," said Johnson.

The bishop says he has all walks of life in his congregation. He says that means anyone can turn their life around with a little guidance.

"I was raised up in 70805," he said. Johnson says he grew up in the area, and is saddened to see there are people who are scared to live their lives now that the community has changed. He is tired of violence, and of having funerals for people killed due to senseless violence and seeing the friends they leave behind carry on as if nothing has changed.

Johnson says his church will be mentoring men that law enforcement identifies as potentially dangerous. They will also offer a place for taking the GED and developing job skills.

Johnson says the police cannot be everywhere all the time, so the community needs to stand against crime. He says it's like the saying, take up your cross - this is the community's burden to bear.

"Things will never be the way it was 25 years ago. But just making awareness in the community and people adding value to a young persons life is needed. They live a difficult life now."

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