BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - District Attorney Hillar Moore, members of the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, the Baton Rouge Police Department, and a host of community leaders hit the streets in the Dixie community Tuesday evening as part of an effort to curb violence.
Gail Francois has lived in the area for about ten years and she admits, like other spots across the parish, the neighborhood has its fair share of issues. "We don't have any problems as far as where we live at, but it's some problems in the community," said Francios.
What she saw Tuesday though, she is hoping will change that. Leaders spent roughly two hours passing out free food, smiles, and even conversation to anyone who happened to be home at the time. WAFB's Scottie Hunter asked Francios if she was looking forward to this happening in her community.
"Yes," she replied. "We've been asking for it for a while, so I'm glad I seen it today with my own eyes."
Francios says the group was giving out more than just jambalaya, but something that does not come in a bowl: a sense of security. "It makes me feel good because I know the community is protected right now," she said.
The project, called TRUCE, has been out in several neighborhoods in recent months. The goal of the effort is to improve relationships between law enforcement and the community in hopes of putting a stop to crime.
Edward Polk has lived in the neighborhood since the August 2016 flood and says he's no stranger to what goes on come nightfall.
"The shooting at night and the little kids that be out at night, I'm afraid of that," said Polk. He says having officers on Aliquippa, Wyandotte, and other familiar streets makes taking care of his family easier. He considers it his main focus.
"That's all I want to do is take care of my babies. That is all," said Polk.
While he believes it's a start, others hope it will be an end to looking over their shoulders.
"I pray to God that it would," Polk added. "We gonna' keep the faith."