BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The parking lot of Cortana Mall was taken over by a car show Saturday evening. This show, however, wasn’t about showing off old school Cadillacs, fancy hand painted flames, or even cars hiding surprises under the hood. It was about old-fashioned conversation.
“If we can come together and talk it doesn’t matter where you’re from. It starts with communication and breaks the barriers,” said Cpl. James Moncrief with the Baton Rouge Police Department. “I understand that sometimes communication is key in building any relationship. If we can talk to each other and come on any idea, in Louisiana food and cars is always a good thing.”
This is the first-time Red Stick Responders brought together car lovers from across the city. Sgt. Kyle Callihan with the Baton Rouge Police Department says different cars represent the communities law enforcement serve. “It crosses all boundaries and that’s whom we police. We don’t have any boundaries. If someone calls, we come,” Sgt. Callihan said.
Cpl. Moncrief said combining complete strangers with a hobby starts different conversations. He says it’s about reaching someone you might not have regular interactions with.
Shawn Cook, a former lawman understands the importance of support. His truck is dedicated to law enforcement. It’s complete with flashing lights. He says events like this allow cops to relax.
“[It allows everyone to] have good interactions without being a police officer. You’re just being people,” said Cook.
No matter the topic, it’s bringing different groups of people and police together. “We just want to grow together. That’s the only way. They always say, ‘We are Baton Rouge,’ lets make a better Baton Rouge,” said one officer.
Officer Dena Weissberg with BRPD volunteers with Back the Blue. She says the organization is made entirely of volunteers dedicated to helping first responders with anything from an officer’s death to an immediate family member in need of medical care.
“There are so many demands...whether it be a flood [or] loss of life and we still have to go to work. You can’t just not show up,” said Officer Weissburg.