New Criminal Strategies Unit will focus, target crime fighting efforts in Baton Rouge

New Criminal Strategies Unit will focus, target crime fighting efforts in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Several law enforcement agencies and LSU are hoping to use new tools in the fight against crime. It is similar to consumer specific data sets used by large companies to better market their products.

Ed Shihadeh, the director of LSU's Crime and Policy Research Lab, will have students crunching crime numbers to help law enforcement.

"We gather data in this world on practically everything. Now we have the algorithms to put those two things together and make an analysis, and that's the future," he said.

The all-new Criminal Strategies Unit will focus and target crime fighting efforts in Baton Rouge. East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore said the program is based on a highly, successful version in New York.

"Back in the old day when we needed information you'd ask around and someone would say, 'Remember I had that information in the file and it's in the file.' Well, now the file is gone," Moore said. "Now the file will never be gone. The intelligence will always be there."

The new unit is comprised of members from several different agencies including the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, the Baton Rouge Police Department, U.S. Attorney's Office, Louisiana National Guard and LSU. It will not cost anything as the agencies are reassigning the personnel to CSU.

"One of the things CSU is going to be doing is generating hotspot maps," Shihadeh said. "We can direct the DA's Office and the managers of this and officers and say, 'Go here tomorrow. You got to deal with this area.'"

Agents will track all types of crimes in the targeted areas. Moore said the people in the neighborhoods need help.

"There's no question there are good people. We've seen the people," he said. "Sometimes they're afraid to come out of the door and that's a shame. They're afraid to say something because they may have their house shot up. We hope to get them their neighborhood back and we hope to start a conversation with them."

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