BRPD chief says murders down this year compared to last year

With all this talk about police pay increases here in Baton Rouge, the idea is it will help recruit and retain new officers.
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 10:48 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2022 at 10:53 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - With all this talk about police pay increases here in Baton Rouge, the idea is it will help recruit and retain new officers.

That could mean more patrols in your neighborhood to stop violent crimes.

As members of the East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council took the first step to give Baton Rouge Police officers a 7% raise Wednesday night, Chief Murphy Paul was quick to share some encouraging news on the city’s crime rate.

“A lot of the operations that we put together with our federal partners. Our ‘Operation Red Stick’ which has seen success in those areas. Right now, homicides are down around 16% as of today,” he said.

When it comes to murders, which is the most serious type of homicide because it involves intentional killing, Chief Paul says, at this time last year, there were 70 murders in the city.

So far this year there have been 59.

Murders in Baton Rouge compared to last year.
Murders in Baton Rouge compared to last year.(BRPD)

“We have some of the best detectives in the city and in the country. And look it’s not just our detectives, our homicide detectives, our burglary detectives, our guys are doing some good work in some trying times,” said Chief Paul.

The chief credits the community for stepping up and providing them with information on people involved in crimes, and places where crimes may be happening.

“When you look at some of the things we’re doing in the community right now, I think some of these situations that we would normally see are being de-escalated. People are taking advantage of services. For the last two months, for the first time we had decreases in calls for services,” he said.

So far in 2022, Chief Paul says his department has made 2358 felony arrests. When last year in 2021, the department made 3434 felony arrests.

Paul also says, in 2021 they took a total of 1632 guns off of the streets. So far this year as of July 14, BRPD has confiscated 952 guns off the streets.

“So we’re hoping that those trends will continue throughout this Summer. And looking how we can continue to build that as we go to the end of this year. But our police officers are going out there and working hard, we’re putting those individuals in jail, and we’re going to continue putting them in jail. We’re going to continue working with the Sheriff’s Office, with State Police, with our federal partners, to continue building cases on those people who are involved in violent crime in our city,” said Chief Paul.

Paul says they are still working to fill about 90 vacancies within the police department.

“The more boots on the ground, the more proactive we can be. The more boots on the ground that we have, visibility helps,” said Chief Paul.

But he’s hopeful that a 7% pay increase (once approved by the Metro Council), could push more officers to join the force and stay within the ranks of BRPD. That means fewer wait times for you when you call for help.

“Once we get through this next academy and get through the rate that we’re hiring, we think that we’re going to have some of the lowest vacancy numbers we’ve ever had,” he said.

That next police academy should be completed in November.

The Metro Council will either approve or deny the pay increase for officers and city-parish employees, at their next meeting in August.

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