Several Melrose East business and property owners said Friday they would work with the officers from Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination, the parish’s new crime-fighting unit, to crack down on criminals in their neighborhood.
“We are working to clean it up here,” landlord Carol Thornton said. “There are too many drug dealers in the apartments.”
Many business owners expressed support for BRAVE at the meeting, which was held Friday at Glory House Ministries on North Carrollton Avenue in Melrose East.
The BRAVE project is a new crime intervention plan aimed at violent offenders as well as drug offenders in the city’s 70805 ZIP code, an area generally bounded by Airline Highway to the north and the east, the Mississippi River to the west and Choctaw Drive to the south.
Even though BRAVE is focused on 70805 because it is the city’s most violent ZIP code, the surrounding areas — like Melrose East — must be included in the efforts too, said BRPD Sgt. Herbert “Tweety” Anny, a leader of BRAVE.
“If we just targeted the 70805 and hit it real hard, then the crime would just move to 70802, 70806,” Anny said.
Sheriff’s Capt. Rodney Walker urged the assembled community members to pass on any tips to authorities.
“In order for us to do our jobs, we need information,” he said.
East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said it was heartening to see the business owners’ support of BRAVE.
“This is what it’s going to take,” he said. “Not just here, but throughout the parish.”