Thursday, US Attorney Brandon Fremin, Chief Murphy Paul, District Attorney Hillar Moore, and other law enforcement officials announced that Baton Rouge is moving to the operational phase of the Justice Department’s Public Safety Partnership Program. The program is a three year engagement that seeks to leverage department assets in support of a local jurisdiction’s commitment to drive down violent crime.
To date, thirty cities nation-wide have participated in the program, which started just two years ago in 2017. One of the cities to participate is Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Milwaukee saw a record number of homicides in 2015, and seen a decline every year since joining the program. New Orleans is another participant. In 2018, there were 146 murders, the lowest number since the seventies.
Officials at the press conference, including Jon Adler, Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, praised the work Baton Rouge has done to date. While this week’s announcement introduced the operational phase of the partnership, the city has already taken steps as part of the diagnostic phase of the program. Chief Murphy Paul said, “We look forward to our continued partnership with the US Department of Justice. The technical assistance and training our department will receive from DOJ experts will strengthen our ability to address violent crime in the city of Baton Rouge. As an agency, BRPD is committed to using innovative ways to improve public safety in our community.”
Since 2017, the Justice Department has directed close to $15 million in customized training and technical assistance to help build crime fighting capacity in PSP sites. This includes $6.6 million to support the cities that will be operational from 2019 through 2022,like Baton Rouge.