Report Recommendation 1.9
Pillar 1: Trust and Legitimacy
1.9 Report Recommendation: Law enforcement agencies should build relationships based on trust with immigrant communities.
- 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-
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- BRPD is aligning its Community Services programs to East Baton Rouge President Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome's Safe, Hopeful, Healthy Initiative. Safe, 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.
- 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.
- While BRPD has launched multiple initiatives and adjusted policies and practices to strengthen trust with all communities, the Department recognizes its efforts to build trust with immigrant communities need to be significantly enhanced.