Report Recommendation 1.4

Pillar 1: Trust and Legitimacy

1.4 Report Recommendation: Promote internal legitimacy by applying the principles of procedural justice. 

BRPD Alignment

At the core of BRPD’s mission is our pledge “to serve with the Baton Rouge community to prevent crime and to promote the safety and well-being of all.” https://www.brla.gov/DocumentCenter/View/9872/General-Order-106-Mission--Values-

To accomplish our mission and meet the standards of 21st Policing, we are committed to policies, protocols, decision-making, and expectations that comply with the Core Principles of Procedural Justice. These include:

  1. Treating Citizens with Dignity and Respect

  2. Display Trustworthy Motives 

  3.  Making Unbiased Decisions

  4.  Giving Citizens an Opportunity to Express Their Views

    While BRPD will continue to proactively evaluate and adjust its practices and policies to improve our service to the citizens we serve, the agency has made important changes in the following areas:

  • De-escalation training for all officers.  Officers learn the fundamental skills of active listening, empathetic listening, verbal communication, voice control, officer presence and de-escalation tactics, and assessing the situation. 
    1. Academy Training http://geauxbrpd.com/academy/
      • De-escalation Course – 12 hours
      • Use of Force 
      • Procedural Justice Course
      • Fair and Impartial Policing 
  • Officers will not employ choke holds or strangleholds, except in emergency circumstances where it is immediately necessary to use deadly force and the authorized weapons are inoperable, inaccessible, or otherwise not available. 
    1. General Order 131 (Use of Deadly Force)
  • Officers are prohibited from discharging a firearm at a moving vehicle unless the vehicle or the persons within the vehicle pose an immediate deadly threat to others. 
    1. General Order 136
    2. https://www.brla.gov/DocumentCenter/View/10133/General-Order-136-Vehicle-Pursuits
  • Vehicle Chase????
    1. General Order 136
    2. https://www.brla.gov/DocumentCenter/View/10133/General-Order-136-Vehicle-Pursuits-
  • Mandatory Intervention: Officers are required to intervene to prevent another officer from using excessive force and to immediately report when they observe the use of excessive force by another officer
  • Canines will not be released to apprehend known juveniles for misdemeanor crimes, those not known to be armed with a weapon, who pose no immediate threat of serious injury to officers or others and not actively resisting arrest. Intra-Divisional Procedure 502/96-2
  • Comprehensive reportingevery time officers use force or threaten force against someone, they are required to report it
    1. General Order 131 (Use of Deadly Less Force)
  • Require a use-of-force continuum (this limits the weapons or force that can be used depending on the situation)
  • Procedural Justice Training for All Officers (Academy and In-Service). The Procedural Justice tenets of Voice, Fairness, Respect, Trustworthiness, and Transparency are taught to increase officer safety, and officer stress levels leading to fewer complaints, greater community cooperation, and an increase in voluntary compliance.

 

Use of Force incidents has decreased by approximately 23 percent over the last two years. 

 

In 2017, BRPD updated 17 policies

 

In 2018, the BRPD updated 24 policies.

 

In 2019, the Department updated 25 policies.

 

In 2020, BRPD updated 25 policies.

 

In 2021, BRPD updated 19 policies.

BRPD’s commitment to justice and integrity is at the heart of our Code of Ethics and the sworn oath each officer takes upon graduation from the Academy: https://www.brla.gov/DocumentCenter/View/9873/General-Order-107-Code-of-Ethics-Oath-of-Office-n.

 

Procedural justice is embedded in our culture, beginning with BRPD’s Academy Curriculum http://geauxbrpd.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/brpd-sample-academy-scheduled.pdf


BRPD’s policy on Bias-Based Policing (General Order 108) https://www.brla.gov/DocumentCenter/View/9874/General-Order-108-Bias-Based-Profiling- fundamentally supports BRPD’s aim to earn public trust. 

 

BRPD recognizes that previous and present injustice and discrimination are barriers to building community trust. BRPD’s Community Service Division develops and executes community outreach, youth engagement, and crime prevention among its services 

 

In 2019, Chief Murphy Paul established a new line of communication between community leaders, and the BRPD, through the formation of the Chief’s Advisory Council. This group of about 30 members represents a cross-section of grassroots groups and local organizations. The group meets bi-monthly, and as needed if there is a pending community issue. Members of the group express their concerns about relevant matters in the community and provide honest and direct feedback. In some cases, this group has made recommendations that have been adopted as policy, and at each meeting, the Council is briefed and given the opportunity to provide feedback on pending policies.

 

The BRPD and DEA Citizens Academy is an 8-week training session. Participants meet with BRPD Chief Murphy Paul, BRPD Detectives, DEA Special Agents, and BRPD Academy Staff who provide insight into the daily life of a law enforcement officer, as well as law enforcement training techniques. During the sessions, law Enforcement Officers have honest discussions with class participants, who in turn share their advice relative to community engagement.

 

As part of its Training Academy and In-Service Training, BRPD hosts Community Conversations, where community members have an opportunity to present and explore topics with cadets and officers. Having these genuine conversations helps ensure cadets and officers continue to see and think about policing from the perspective of citizens.

 

In December 2021, BRPD launched a new strategy, whereby officers regularly interact with citizens in their own neighborhoods. Each week, BRPD officers walk the streets of various neighborhoods during the Department’s Community Canvases. BRPD leaders and officers say the effort is providing new insight and building mutual understanding between citizens and law enforcement.

 

After a decades-long hiatus, BRPD recently re-launched its Explorers Post #225 program. The program is for students, ages 14-18.  Explorers #225 gives participants a real look at a career as a first responder, with an emphasis on Law Enforcement as they rotate through each Division of BRPD.  During the program, participants learn their rights, as well as the local and state laws of Louisiana.  They are trained in First Aid and CPR and even have opportunities to ride with EMS on service calls. Participants acquire team-building skills. And most importantly, they grow in compassion for their fellow citizens through community service and volunteerism and form trusting relationships with police officers. 

 

Similarly, adults ages 18-21 can participate in BRPD’s Cadet program, whereby participants work full-time for the BRPD, shadowing police officers in every Division.  Although Cadets must still complete the Department’s Training Academy to become sworn police officers, their years of service start accruing on their first day as Cadets. The Cadet program is meeting its objectives, encouraging young adults to pursue careers in law enforcement, and giving community members an upfront and personal view of BRPD. 

 

Previously, citizens had to visit a precinct office to file a complaint or submit an affidavit. Citizens can now submit Complaints and Commendations online (https://www.brla.gov/FormCenter/Police-Department-19/Internal-Affairs-Complaint-Form-101 and https://www.brla.gov/FormCenter/Police-Department-19/Employees-Commendation-105, via phone, via email, as well as in person.

 

Resources

 

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/baton-rouge-stopping-surge-violent-crime-starts-basketball/story?id=78555186

 

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/baton-rouge-police-chief-city-rising-crime-resources/story?id=78563583

 

https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/crime_police/article_b7ae1276-b6e8-11e8-bcc3-c3944ccda710.html

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h39O4QDhz9w 

 

https://www.brproud.com/news/baton-rouge-police-effort-to-build-relationships-with-the-community/

 

https://www.facebook.com/CapitalAreaPAL

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDIXfX2f7Bw


https://www.wafb.com/video/2021/12/27/baton-rouge-officers-will-canvas-communities-address-crime-concerns/

 

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=338612744964688

 

https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/crime_police/article_6f95b842-3037-11ec-b7c2-6fe6a5b23656.html

 

https://www.wafb.com/2019/06/04/judge-releases-baton-rouge-decades-old-federal-decree-local-police-fire-departments/

 

https://www.businessreport.com/newsletters/judge-lifts-decades-old-federal-consent-decree-on-baton-rouge-police-fire-departments


https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/article_d61b276a-5f7f-11ec-ac29-97195d2a2dd0.html 

 

https://www.brproud.com/news/brpd-has-high-hopes-that-an-old-program-will-bring-new-beginnings/


https://www.wbrz.com/news/with-the-cadet-program-brpd-hopes-to-give-future-officers-a-head-start/

 

https://brownpoliticalreview.org/2021/08/ask-the-chief-baton-rouge-bpr-interviews-murphy-paul/

 

https://www.wafb.com/2020/06/08/baton-rouge-police-hold-news-conference-about-ongoing-reforms-department/

 

https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/crime_police/article_b7ae1276-b6e8-11e8-bcc3-c3944ccda710.html

 

http://dcer237tfveol.cloudfront.net/img/wbrz/files/brpdstatement021119.pdf


https://www.wbrz.com/news/brpd-revising-policy-for-chasing-juvenile-suspects-with-police-dogs/