BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Press Club of Baton Rouge hosted an in-person forum for the candidates running for mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish at 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5.
The event was held outside at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden.
The following candidates participated in the forum:
- Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome
- Former State Rep. Steve Carter
- Attorney E. Eric Guirard
- State Rep. C. Denise Marcelle
- Businessman Jordan Piazza
- Metro Councilman Matt Watson
The candidates spoke about violence in the city, among other topics. Broome says she has already budgeted for higher police pay.
“We will be able to elevate the salary of our first responders, police, fire, EMS is the goal," said Broome.
“We need to give people opportunities. Opportunities equal less crime. People need to make sure that we can get them jobs. We need to make sure we do not abandon the police,” said Carter.
“I would go to the community, tell those folks what they know already, the prevalence of crime in their neighborhood, what best practices are around the country to eradicate and lower that crime rate, and get buy-in from the community,” Watson said.
“You gotta' be bold in your leadership and I think that’s what we’re lacking,” said Marcelle. “We have to lift our communities up out of poverty because that is the systemic causes of crime is poverty.”
“Unfortunately, our chief of police has not been very effective, but I don’t place all the blame on him because the policies are broken. They’re underfunded. We must back our police and we cannot afford to defund our police in any manner,” Piazza said.
“We’re gonna' create community policing on steroids. We want people to live in the parish, so we’re gonna' give them bonuses if they live in the parish, super bonuses if they live in the worst neighborhoods,” said Guirard.
Watch the full candidate forum below.
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