BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Congressmen Garret Graves and Cedric Richmond have called on US Attorney General Jeff Sessions to extend the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination (BRAVE) program.
The program has $1.6 million in unused grant money set to expire at the end of the summer. Graves and Richmond are requesting the deadline to spend that money be extended another year.
BRAVE has been credited with reducing crime throughout Baton Rouge by forming partnerships between law enforcement, the community, and faith-based organizations.
"Because BRAVE has proven success, it's critical that law enforcement and the community be given additional time to expend these dollars and continue this important work. They have invested a significant amount of time, research, and coordination to ensure these dollars are being wisely and effectively spent. Additionally, law enforcement and the entire community have spent the better part of the last ten months dealing with riots, the shooting of six law enforcement officers in July, and the nation's fourth costliest natural disaster a month later," said Graves.
"Throughout this time, the community remains committed to carrying out the mission of the BRAVE program. We are asking DOJ to acknowledge the need for more time to do so in light of these extraordinary circumstances," said Graves. "The DOJ has to recognize that Baton Rouge has achieved so much while enduring such historic tragedy, and that the year 2017 is when BRAVE follows through, not folds up. Stopping now would also be an historic tragedy."
Read the full letter here.