BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore says he’s concerned after a particularly violent July Fourth weekend in Baton Rouge in which two people were killed and six were injured in multiple shootings.
Meanwhile, the Baton Rouge Police Department is trying to recruit amid nationwide protests against law enforcement.
Moore says Baton Rouge has seen an uptick in crime in the past few months, once when the coronavirus pandemic got going in March, and again now in the middle of summer. To combat this, BRPD is trying to get more officers on the street to better protect the community.
The district attorney says that crime uptick starting in March also included domestic violence calls. He’s nervous about the crime numbers heading into the heart of summer.
“We normally see that around the summertime when school’s out, people have a lot of idle time, a lot of youngsters that have weapons and are doing things, but we saw that earlier starting in March, we’ve seen it now, and now we’re hitting summer, and we’re seeing our traditional type of summer,” he said.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office told WAFB that as of June 6, it has investigated 63 homicides so far in 2020.
Now some of those cases could include justifiable homicides; that’s all up to the DA’s office.
Moore says he’s definitely concerned.
“We hope that it stop. We hope that people come to their senses, that this is not the way that we’re supposed to live, but right now, we have our work cut out for us,” he said.
Meanwhile, amid this violent weekend, along with protests against police across the globe following the death of George Floyd, BRPD is hiring.
“First and foremost, it would be to continue to practice fairness and equality among our candidates, rebuild branding and marketing,” said Cpl. Darren Ahmed, BRPD’s director of recruiting.
Cpl. Ahmed says at BRPD, they are always striving to “bridge the gap” between officers and the community, and they’re in need of more officers in the department at this time.
“How do you find somebody that wants to be a police officer in a world that is angry at law enforcement? And you go back to looking at what a police officer is sought out to be, based on what the community expects, and some of the things I look at in people is it’s the people who want to see equality,” said Cpl. Ahmed.
He says BRPD has made a ton of progress and reforms recently, and when he’s looking to hire someone, he looks at the person’s heart and their character.
“Not that they just want the gold badge and the cool Dodge Charger police car, whatever it is they’re driving. I want to know if they’re out here to help this change that America does not like in police officers,” said Ahmed.
He’s asking for those potential new officers to be the change.
“If you’re one of those people who doesn’t like police officers nationwide, what we’re doing, and the issues that you see in law enforcement agencies between now and the past, then how about you help us change?” said Cpl. Ahmed.
District Attorney Moore echoed that statement, saying more officers that want to be a part of the change and a part of the solution are needed in East Baton Rouge Parish
BRPD will be hosting a number of virtual recruiting events. For more information, visit the police department’s website.
Click here to report a typo.