BATON ROUGE, La. – December 1, 2020 –Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul, and Gary Patureau of the Sherwood Forest Crime District announced two new initiatives connecting community-owned security cameras to the Baton Rouge Police Real Time Crime Center.
The first initiative, the Sherwood Forest Crime District Camera Program, is now connecting live surveillance camera feeds and license plate readers from the sixteen entrances along the perimeter of the Sherwood Forest neighborhood to the BRPD Real Time Crime Center. The cameras and license plate readers were purchased by the Sherwood Forest Crime District and connected to the Real-Time Crime Center through a partnership with Mayor Broome and the Baton Rouge Police Department. This will serve as a pilot program for other crime districts wanting to be part of the virtual neighborhood watch.
“This initiative highlights the progress we can make in public safety when our local government partners with community members,” said Mayor Broome. “I’m committed to bringing 21st Century Policing to our community, which means making the right kind of investments that will protect our residents and giving our police officers the tools they need to keep us safe.”
Sherwood Forest is one of 33 neighborhoods in East Baton Rouge Parish where residents voted to fund crime prevention districts. The Sherwood Forest Crime District used its funds to purchase, construct, and mount the surveillance cameras and license plate, readers.
Sherwood Forest, which is comprised of 3,147 homes, is the largest crime district in Louisiana. Other Baton Rouge neighborhoods are already working to implement the same program.
“Undoubtedly, we know the Sherwood Forest Crime District Camera Program will benefit citizens in our neighborhood, as well as across Baton Rouge,” said Patureau. “We are building a digital defensive perimeter which other crime districts can emulate. Sherwood Forest has made the investment in partnership with Mayor Broome and Chief Paul. Now other neighborhoods need to simply purchase their own crime cameras and plug into the Real-Time Crime Center.”
The second initiative, the Connect Blue Baton Rouge Directory, will allow residents and businesses to provide access upon request to their public-facing security cameras with BRPD. When a crime happens, BRPD can quickly communicate with directory members and request the security video. Residents and businesses can join the Connect Blue Baton Rouge Directory at brla.gov/ConnectBlue
These public safety initiatives are made possible by the BRPD Real Time Crime Center launched earlier this year. The multiscreen technology center features views of live traffic cameras and maps that track active calls. Officers stationed in the Real-Time Crime Center provide officers on the ground with situational awareness as they respond to calls.
“The conception for the Real-Time Crime Center started in 2018,” said Chief Paul. “Since then, we’ve not only constructed the facility, we’ve also been developing the infrastructure to leverage community-owned technology, by forming partnerships, across Baton Rouge. The Sherwood Forest cameras are only the first of the many we hope to add to the program over the next year, as other neighborhoods, businesses, and citizens join this initiative. Also, the Connect Blue Baton Rouge Directory is only one of several technology tools that we’ve put in place to adopt smarter, 21st Century Policing practices."
Chief Paul said the initiatives presented Tuesday represent the agency’s ongoing commitment to efficient and effective policing, including the use of valuable technology.