Baton Rouge, LA Ranks In Top 10 Murders Nationally
Last week the FBI released it's latest crime statistics and Baton Rouge now ranks in the top 10 nationally for murder. Officially the city took home the #7 spot. These statistics are composed of an all encompassing report called the Annual Uniform Crime Report. Within this report the FBI reports city level data on crimes such as rape, burglary, assault, robbery, murder and much more. This is very concerning to people like myself as we own a business, have families and significant investments in the greater Baton Rouge area. Most crimes' are calculated on per capita basis. So, Baton Rouge recorded 67 murders in 2008 or about 30 murders per 100,000 residents. To make matters even worse New Orleans took home the #1 spot. So New Orleans is the 2008 murder capital of the nation and just a short drive up to the state capital and you'll arrive at the seventh ranked murder city. What is going on? The New Orleans economy "lives or dies" with the tourism industry. In these tough economic times it is crucial that New Orleans shows it self in a positive light nationally. Talk about a "blackeye" As these statistics come to life nationally, what can we do to save face. The Baton Rouge economy is largely based on the University as LSU is the largest Baton Rouge employer. In addition, almost 30,000 students at LSU and over 6,000 at Southern University pump money into local businesses during their college years. If I'm a tourist looking for a vacation destination, one of the first things I'm going to do is check on the crime rate. When I see #1 murders per capita I will take my family elsewhere. In Baton Rouge LSU is the flagship University and compete with other top notch schools to try and get the best and brightest to LSU and Louisiana. Mom and dad as well as students will certainly take a second look when they here these statistics. University sociology professor Thomas Durant said the Capitol and Crescent cities share high frequency of poverty, drug problems, high school dropouts, and lack of family supervision in concentrated areas — factors that create a dangerous environment. “LSU is bordered by a low to moderate income area. Some people call it South Baton Rouge, and some people call it the ‘bottom,’” Durant said. “You have pockets like this throughout Baton Rouge. If you would get the statistics for the last year, you will see that basically places like that is where most of the crime is occurring.” It is very important that parents council their children, and the Universities should spread awareness about safety on and off campus. Where to live, and how to protect themselves and residences. Most experts agree that preparation and awareness are key to deterring crime. Having a home alarm system and security stickers is a great start. Carrying a good pepper spray and knowing how to use it effectively could save your life.