Report Recommendation 1.6

Pillar 1: Trust and Legitimacy

1.6 Report Recommendation: Law enforcement agencies should consider the potential damage to public trust when implementing crime-fighting strategies.

BRPD Alignment

  1. 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-
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  4. 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
  5. 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. 
  6. 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: Officers are required to give a verbal warning, before using deadly force, except where there are exigent circumstances 
    • De-escalation: Officers are required to de-escalate situations, when possible, before using force. De-escalation strategies include disengagement, area containment, waiting out a subject, summoning reinforcements, calling in specialized units or employing other strategies. 
    • De-escalation training for all officers.  Officers learn the fundamental skills of active listening, empathetic listening, verbal communication, voice control, officer presence, 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
      3. General Order 136
      4. 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
    • BRPD K-9 Officers are no longer exempt from the agency’s Body Worn Camera policies, specifically, initiation requirements. 
    • General Order 131 Use of Deadly Force
    • 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)
      1. General Order 135.1 https://www.brla.gov/DocumentCenter/View/10136/General-Order-1351-TASER
      2. General Order 135.2 https://www.brla.gov/DocumentCenter/View/10137/General-Order-1352-Less-Lethal-Impact-Projectiles
    • 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.
  7.      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.

  8.  Use of Force incidents has decreased by approximately 23 percent over the last two years. 
  9. In an effort to ensure peaceful protests, all BRPD Officers will complete Crowd Control Training by the end of 2022.
  10. BRPD is aligning its Community Services programs to East Baton Rouge President Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s Safe, Hopeful, Healthy InitiativeSafe, Hopeful, Healthy works to interrupt the cycle of violence, strengthen family support, revitalize neighborhoods, promote academic education, and prioritize access to care. The initiative centers on implementing mentorship programs, connecting residents to social services, improving the opportunities available within the community through youth development programs, and connecting residents to neighborhood-based public benefits and supportive services. The initiative centers on implementing mentorship programs, connecting residents to social services, improving the opportunities available within the community through youth development programs, and connecting residents to neighborhood-based public benefits and supportive services.

  11. Also, with the aim of ensuring the Community Policing concept and expectation is department-wide and not just the responsibility of the Community Services Division, all supervisors have received training in Community Policing (best practices) through the National Safety Partnership. Through its sponsorship and participation in community programs and events, BRPD interacts with citizens in a non-law enforcement capacity several hundred times each year. Prior to the pandemic in 2020, BRPD participated in an average of 300+ community events each year (2018 and 2019). In particular, BRPD is working with partner agencies and local organizations to bridge the gap with the city’s youngest generations. There is a particular focus on creating and participating in school events, through partnerships with the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, as well as private and parochial schools. 

  12. 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.
  13. As part of its Training Academy and In-Service Training, BRPD hosts Community Conversations 13)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.

  14. 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 Community Canvases BRPD leaders and officers say the effort is providing new insight and building mutual understanding between citizens and law enforcement.

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.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

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

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

https://www.brla.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=615

https://www.brproud.com/news/local-news/mayor-president-broome-announces-new-initiative-after-a-rise-in-violence/

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/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/