BATON ROUGE, LA — Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden announced today that the City-Parish has been awarded a $1,458,231 federal grant to fully implement the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination (BRAVE) strategies being used in zip code 70805 in zip code 70802.
The announcement comes just two days after BRAVE partners held a press conference to discuss details of an approximately $1 million grant awarded to help deter crime in four targeted neighborhoods bordering the 70805 and 70802 zip codes. Holden said the grant announced last week focuses on neighborhood revitalization and all aspects of crime, while the new grant brings the law enforcement and community provider efforts from the original plan for 70805 into 70802.
“We are very pleased with the early success of the BRAVE project,” said Mayor Holden. “We know that a data-driven, comprehensive strategy that offers real alternatives to crime can reduce violence in our city. Being able to put an additional $2.4 million toward our current efforts will definitely make Baton Rouge safer.”
Holden said the grant to expand BRAVE comes after he met with Department of Justice officials to explain how the leadership of District Attorney Hillar Moore and the work of the BRAVE partners were successfully connecting law enforcement officials with the neighborhoods experiencing the worst crime, and giving juvenile offenders a chance to turn their lives around.
District Attorney Hillar Moore applauded BRAVE accomplishments in 2013 that have reduced our homicide rate by 35% from last year: “Through the BRAVE effort, law enforcement is changing how we operate. Our officers and deputies are out in our communities using state-of-the art crime analysis tools developed by our research partners. They are targeting crime patterns where-ever and when-ever they occur across the parish and are bringing all of our law enforcement, community, industry, service providers, and faith-based resources together to reduce violent crime for all of our citizens.”
Holden said the new grant will be implemented by the Mayor’s office through the BRAVE project partners. The grant was awarded by the Department of Justice as an extension of the original BRAVE grant awarded in 2012. BRAVE efforts in the 70805 and 70802 zip codes seek to use research-based group violence reduction strategies to coordinate local law enforcement, service providers and education providers to redirect youth who have become involved in group violence toward productive activities.
The grant application was written by Amanda LaGrange, Federal and State Grants Coordinator for the Mayor’s Office and Dr. Cecile Guin of the LSU School of Social Work with support provided by BRAVE partners, including the U.S. Attorney, East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie, Capital Area Human Service District Executive Director Jan Kasofsky, Family and Youth Service Center, and Living Faith Christian Center’s Bishop Raymond W. Johnson.
“It’s important for the citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish to know that we aggressively pursue federal grants through the Justice Department and other grant programs that support public safety,” Holden said. “I’m extremely proud that the Justice Department has recognized the effectiveness of the work being done by the BRAVE partners and its importance to our community.”