BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Earlier this year, Councilmember Tara Wicker made a public plea for businesses to use their surveillance cameras to help fight crime. Inspired by her call for help, former Baton Rouge Police Chief Jeff LeDuff's company, Blue Point, distributes new technology that protects businesses and helps law enforcement respond more effectively to emergencies.
Cajun Industries is the first business in Baton Rouge to launch this technology.
"It amazes me that, I guess, industry has caught up with technology and are using modern technology. it's all based around a cell phone and everybody has cell phones nowadays," said Jan Lass of Cajun Industries.
Cajun Industries now has blue police boxes from Leduff's company all over their building. In the event of an emergency, an employee or guest can pull a lever on the box. A text is then immediately sent to police and all employees at Cajun Industries notifying them of the emergency.
An automated phone call is also sent out in addition to text, "Hello. We have received a blue point alert for a weapons threat alert at --- for manual pull at Cajun Industries in Baton Rouge, 15635 Airline Highway."
With one text message, an employee, as well as responding police officers now have access to all the building maps and cameras. If an employee sees a gunman or attacker, they can text a photo or a description that will now reach fellow employees and law enforcement. This information is critical for law enforcement to know before they have even been dispatched to the scene.
"It shows you exactly where it was pulled. Law enforcement now knows what end of the property where to start," explains Kelly LeDuff, of Blue Point. Kelly is the son of Jeff LeDuff. Also, all the building's cameras are now available to employees and police to watch everything unfolding in real time.
Councilmember Wicker is hoping businesses who don't have the Blue Point's alert system but have surveillance cameras will join in helping them fight crime. She is especially hoping businesses in north Baton Rouge join in where there's been an uptick in homicides.
The goal is to use existing surveillance cameras and give police access to them in case something is happening in that area. That way, officers can watch in real time what's happening and start deploying assets before they ever make it on the scene.
An informational meeting will be held for businesses looking to join this venture on October 30 at 11:30 a.m. at the Renaissance Hotel. Business owners can also get a firsthand look at how the Blue Point system works.
LeDuff presented this new technology to local business owners on Monday, October 30. He says it will be a big game changer for law enforcement.
LeDuff's company presented its Blue Box to companies at the Renaissance Hotel in Baton Rouge.
"Law enforcement's response time is the most critical part of this response," LeDuff said. "Getting law enforcement there, knowing where to go, and maybe even seeing what the bad guy looks like."
Wicker was also there to promote the product. She has held public meetings recently to discuss ways for reducing Baton Rouge's growing crime rate.