Police Chief: More officers to be on patrol in downtown Baton Rouge

Police Chief: More officers to be on patrol in downtown Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - More officers on patrol downtown, that is the plan from Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie. Several new businesses and apartments are under construction, which Dabadie says will draw more people to the area. As a result, he wants a plan in place ahead of time.

Kerry Denny has lived downtown for the past year. He says wherever you look, there's construction.

"94 apartments in The Commerce Building, of course IBM's coming - another 80-90 units," Denny said.

With all that is scheduled, he says the downtown area has not yet seen busy.

Dabadie says there is no real criminal activity downtown. Adding more officers, he says will be a deterant in the future.

The chief says their satellite office on Third Street has grown from five officer to ten. He wants a total of 20 officers downtown between the end of the summer and October.

"Late at night, police are walking around patrolling. I feel pretty safe," said Denny. "They're doing anything extra, that's great but it's pretty safe down here now."

Kyle Harless, who lives and works downtown says things are usually busier downtown on the weekends and there are pockets where it gets pretty lively at night.

"When people see those things they think maybe more carefully about can't get too crazy, cops everywhere. I think that helps," Harless said.

As it stands now, officers patrol six days a week. On the weekends, Dabadie says there is coverage until 3:00 a.m. His goal is to have the downtown area covered throughout the week, 24 hours a day.

With or without those extra officers, people who already call downtown home say one thing is for sure - the culture is about to get quite a change.

Copyright 2015 WAFB. All rights reserved.