Recently, on more than one occasion, Mayor-President Kip Holden voiced his opinion that operating a misdemeanor jail is a bad idea. He also stated he does not believe those people who chose not to pay their traffic fines should be arrested for not doing so.
I posted a question about this matter to Mayor Holden on his Facebook page. Neither the mayor nor anyone on his staff has responded as of the writing of this letter.
I would like to know how he intends to collect the outstanding fines from these people. It appears by his comments that he generally believes enforcing misdemeanor crime is silly and a waste of time and police efforts. Just how does he plan to clear the approximately 160,000 misdemeanor warrants that are currently active? How does he intend to collect the millions of dollars in fines owed by these people?
Does he plan to ask each one of them nicely to come in and pay their fines? Does he intend to suggest to his newly appointed chief of police to not enforce misdemeanor crime any longer?
The crime in Baton Rouge is bad enough without the mayor insinuating that enforcing misdemeanor crime is not important.
I find it very disturbing that the mayor, who is also the parish president of East Baton Rouge Parish, has this view of misdemeanor crime. How can a person in his position be this soft on crime? The citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish deserve to have these questions answered.
retired police lieutenant