‘It affects us all,’ Baton Rouge Community Street Team looking to deter crime in city

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 10:44 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - As cities across the country deal with a rising crime rate, the same goes for Baton Rouge.

But what exactly are you doing to be a solution to the problem?

One group is trying to go door-to-door and help work to solve the root cause of crime, in some of Baton Rouge’s most violent locations.

One by one and decked out in vests. The Baton Rouge Community Street Team may be small now, but they’re looking to make a big impact.

One by one and decked out in vests. The Baton Rouge Community Street Team may be small now, but...
One by one and decked out in vests. The Baton Rouge Community Street Team may be small now, but they're looking to make a big impact.(WAFB)

“Providing these resources to the people that’s in the community, it gives us a better chance to build the community up and to combat this violence,” said Dana Winbush, Baton Rouge Community Street Team member.

The Street Team is a community-based public safety initiative, partnering Mayor-President Broome’s Safe Hopeful Healthy BR Imitative.

They are trained to effectively address violence in the 70802 and 70805 zip codes.

Group target zip codes
Group target zip codes(WAFB)

“Every time that we get a call, that we got to go see a young black man laid up on that ground like that. We see that, man there’s got to be some kind of change that’s got to occur. And it’s got to happen now, not later. It affects us all because that could’ve been my brother, that could’ve been my cousin, that could’ve been my daddy,” said Darius Crockett, Baton Rouge Community Street Team member.

According to the mayor’s office, the group consists of trusted community members with the necessary relationships needed to deescalate conflicts and steer residents in crisis towards available resources.

The group canvasses neighborhoods every Monday.

“And then we do the high-risk intervention work, as far as dealing with the violence in the city, and the killing. We try to de-escalate it, before it happens,” said Crockett.

The group is definitely not the police, we know that. But they’re working to reach as many people as they can, before a crime is committed, and police would then have to respond.

“We’ve probably touched about 1200 families in just the short time we’ve been on the street. About 1200 families,” said Winbush.

They just hope their efforts are making a small dent in the city’s crime rate.

“Just the 6 of us. But we’re going to keep trying, we’re going to keep doing it,” said Winbush.

Members are hopeful that this program expands to other communities, and that this becomes a long-term solution to fighting violence in the city.

According to the East Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office, 125 homicides have been investigated in the parish so far in 2021.

In 2020 there was 136 homicides.

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