City of Baker forms Task Force to address recent crime in the city

Baker officials discuss city's violence

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Officials in Baker formed a Mayor’s Task Force on Community Safety Tuesday night, to stop crime before it happens in the area.

The chief says five people were shot in the last few weeks of 2020, three of them are dead.

“We’re going to continue to work on increasing visibility until everybody satisfied,” said Baker Police Chief Carl Dunn.

Before 2020, Baker Police had not investigated a homicide within city limits since 2017.

Citizens pressed city officials on what they are doing to curb the crime.

“But just to see a police officer on a highway or sitting back. It’s nothing wrong, with just letting people know that they are there,” said one citizen at the town hall.

Most of the violence happened in the Heritage Court Neighborhood near Weston Avenue.

“It’s been a problem in the past. It’s an area that is mostly rental properties, so you have people moving in, people moving out,” said Chief Dunn.

Dunn says he needs citizens to step up with their tips to solve crimes. Meanwhile, his officers have been stepping up patrols and trying to form contacts in the community.

“There’s nothing worse than a crying heartbroken mother over their child. And by child, he (or she) could be 60 years old. That’s still somebody’s child, Lester,” said Chief Dunn.

The task force on community safety will include city officials, police officers, and the public, to bring up new ideas to make the city a safer place to live.

“Sometimes you have to take it in for an oil change, you know we got a good running machine here. But we need to do an oil change, change the oil out, maybe think differently about some things, because times are changing,” said Mayor Darnell Waites of Baker.

All in the hope to bridge that gap between the community and law enforcement.

“We’re not going to sit back and let it (crime) happen.  We can’t control it, but we do need to address it,” said Waites.

“That’s what it takes sometimes Lester, what do they call it a melting pot? To come together, to form this big melting pot, where we can keep Baker as safe as we possibly can, and at all times,” said Chief Dunn.

Baker Police have solved two out of the three homicides from 2021.

Call Crimestoppers at 344-STOP or Baker Police with any information that can help investigators.

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