BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A disturbing new study ranks Baton Rouge among the top 40 most dangerous cities in the entire country.
The research was done by the Non-Partisan and Objective Research Organization (NORC) at the University of Chicago.
The sounds and sights of violence in the Capital City are all too common. Stats show in 2018, Baton Rouge police investigated 78 homicides.
“I know right now we’re [Baton Rouge] under that number [homicides],” said Sgt. L’Jean McKneely with BRPD. The grim study puts the Red Stick at 38th, as one of the most dangerous cities in the country.
"There's not a specific thing that we can pinpoint to say why it's higher or why it's less. All we do is put forth the effort in an attempt to curb violence," said McKneely.
Sgt. McKneely says BRPD is implementing new initiatives like the Real Time Crime Center and is trying to connect with the community it serves.
“We want the community to know that we have over 50% success in arresting those individuals that are committing those type of violent offenses, relative to homicides,” he said.
But McKneely admits the department is still dozens of officers short of the nearly 700 they’d like to have on the streets. Just early Wednesday morning, 41-year-old Derek Jones was found shot and killed on Jim Taylor Drive near Tigerland.
“He was a real good guy, good-hearted, a giver. Anybody that know him, they know one thing about him. He was helpful, would give the shirt off his back,” said Taj Jones, Derek’s brother.
Taj raps on the side in addition to his day job and says in some of his lyrics, he preaches about trying to stop the violence in Baton Rouge.
“No matter what you going through, my God is always there for you. He’ll pull you through, He’ll give you strength,” said Jones.
He says for his family and other dealing with the loss of life, violence hurts generations to come.
“God didn’t intend for it to be that way. It is what it is, but we can change it as a people, band together as a community, be a servant, and let’s work,” said Jones. “We’re going to be responsible, and we ask that the community be responsible and help us in making Baton Rouge a better place,” said Sgt. McKneely.
If you know anything about what happened to Derek Jones or any open crime investigations, you can remain anonymous and call Crime Stoppers at 225-344-7867.