EBR Metro Council defers BRPD residency requirement, other policing proposals

EBR Metro Council defers BRPD residency requirement, other policing proposals

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The East Baton Rouge Metro Council will take another 30 days to mull over half a dozen proposed policing reforms.

Among those proposals is the controversial residency requirement that has been shelved numerous times since its initial proposal in July. That proposal would require new officers to live within the parish.

Advocates believe that would help community relations. Opponents said the measure would hurt recruitment efforts.

Other reforms included forming a citizen review council, giving officers a ten percent raise, providing financial incentive for living within the parish and hiring a consultant to help police recruit from communities impacted by crime.

All the measures were proposed by Councilwoman Chauna Banks-Daniel.

"The police has done an excellent job in hiring more minority officers," Banks-Daniel said. "Their numbers are up. The research shows that, but I believe that the true method of community policing has to do with recruiting out of the areas where crime may or may not exist."

However, Banks-Daniel requested that all the measures be deferred to allow for more discussion among the community, city leaders and law enforcement.

The delay allows for a city-wide meeting being planned for October 29.  Councilwoman Tara Wicker said details on the meeting would be released soon.

However, not everyone wanted to wait that long. Several council members and a few public speakers argued for a vote in two weeks, before the election.

"Voters need to know going to the polls where you stand on these issues," said #NBRNOW Blue Ribbon Commission member Gary Chambers.

Police Chief Carl Dabadie agreed that a resolution was needed quickly, but said the extra time would be put to good use.

"It's time to hash things out. It seems like we still have some areas we agree to disagree on and I think time would help," Dabadie said.

The council will take all five policing proposals back up at its November 9 meeting.


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