Dear Garden District Neighbor,
Over the last few months, the Garden District Civic Association Board has been re-evaluating the best way to secure and protect the neighborhood using the financial resources provided by our annual dues. This process has led us to review and consider several options over the last few months.
We have spoken with many fellow Garden District neighbors, both dues and non-dues paying. We have spoken to board members and community leaders of other neighborhoods in our area. We have solicited and received proposals (including sample patrols) from private security firms and finally, we have met with police officers who have worked in our neighborhood and as part of our off-duty patrols.
After much consideration and weighing all options as a board, as of September 1, we have decided to continue working with the Baton Rouge Police Department. In coming to this decision however, we have also agreed to a new structure for these patrols which are intended to address previously identified shortcomings:
We will be provided more consistent patrols on a monthly basis, with more days being covered.
We have implemented a new tracking and reporting method for police officers to track their time
There is a new “always rolling and patrolling” policy with the officers while they are in the neighborhood.
We have looked at the entire year of patrols and budgeted additional patrols at peak times as needed.
A new Coordinator has also been appointed to serve our neighborhood. Officer Jacob Wheat will now be managing all monthly off-duty police officers patrolling the Garden District going forward. Officer Wheat comes to us with an impressive resume as he has served as the Live After Five police coordinator for the last five years and works downtown on a daily basis. Officer Wheat has met with the board and will be in direct contact with the board on a weekly and monthly basis going forward.
While there is really no correct answer on how best to secure our neighborhood and and unfortunately no proven way to prevent crime, we believe that this conversation and discussion has allowed the board and our off-duty police officers to better understand the needs of the neighborhood. In the end, we believe we can all work together to provide a safe and beautiful neighborhood for our families and friends to live in.
If you have not already done so, please consider becoming a member of the Garden District Civic Association by paying your monthly, quarterly, or annual dues as these funds are how we pay for the off-duty police officers and their monthly patrols. The more members we have, the more consistent patrols we can provide for everyone. For those wishing to contribute above and beyond existing dues, an additional page has been set up where you can contribute specifically to security patrols in the neighborhood: [https://gdcabr.org/product/additional-security-funds/].
If you have any additional questions, comments, concerns or if you would like to get involved, please reply to this email or contact us at [[email protected]].
John Christian Williams
President, Garden District Civic Association