Residents say BRAVE program isn't working, yet

Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 8:45pm

BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — How much good can $1.5 million do? Law enforcement officials hope it can help fix a crime problem that has turned the 70805 zip code into the most dangerous part of the Capitol City. The program helped reduce Milwaukee's murder rate by 40% between 2005 and 2009, but is it making progress here in the Capitol City?

"If you walk down the street you might lose your life. Ain’t no telling what be going on," says Dehaven Brown.

Brown has lived in the area with his three kids for more than two years. He hasn't seen a dip in the violence and for that matter he hasn't even seen any BRAVE officers in his neighborhood.

"It's a regular thing. There’s a shooting probably like every night and you call the police and they don't even come out,' says Brown.

The BRAVE program hopes to reduce crime, in part, by having police officers form bonds with neighborhood residents. The hope is that if something happens, they'll be comfortable enough to let the cops know about it.

"You might as well trust your neighbors 'cause you can trust your neighbors more than you can trust yourself," says one 70805 resident.

People in the area feel it's going to take time to build that bond with law enforcement. Until then, they'll count on the folks they've grown up with and around to keep them safe.

"We look out for people. The older folks they looked out for us when we were coming up, so it's time to look out for them," says the resident.

But Brown isn't waiting for that trust to form with law enforcement or his neighbors. He's planning on leaving the 70805 and moving back to St. Charles parish where he grew up and where he feels he and his family will be safe.

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