Baton Rouge’s high murder rate will reportedly be a focus in the coming year. According to Baton Rouge Police, unofficial estimates indicate the city’s murder rate rose slightly in 2012. Over the course of the year, 67 people were murdered within city limits, which is about a five percent increase from 2011.

According to authorities, most of the homicides in Baton Rouge are group related, and police plan to target group activity in their efforts to reduce the problem. Another significant aspect of the statistics is that 55 of the 67 murders in 2012 came within the first eight months of the year.

Interestingly, there has not been a major increase in the number of homicides involving people without a prior relationship.

One councilman, Buddy Amoroso, has expressed that crime is a major concern for his constituents in the 8th District. He plans to concentrate on grassroots neighborhood association and the police department in his efforts to reduce crime. In addition, he hopes to add a police academy to help achieve this goal.

As is obvious, the goal of police is to do what it takes to increase the safety of the communities serve. What locations they choose to target, the types of crimes they focus on, and the type of people they monitor closely are all matters of discretion. At the same time, there are laws protecting criminal suspects from improper police activity in areas such as privacy and discrimination, and it is important for those accused of criminal activity to be aware of their rights.

Source: NOLA.com, “New Baton Rouge council members pledge to combat crime, crumbling infrastructure,” Sheila V Kumar, January 2, 2012.