My letter is to address crime here in Baton Rouge. There seems to be an alarming rate of young black males who are victims of homicide or are committing the homicide. The victims and the perpetrators are getting younger and younger these days. These incidents are alarming and frightening.

On Dec. 1, 2004, my brother, 25, was victim of an home invasion and homicide. The accused murderer was sentenced in 2011. Though that was a painful chapter in my life, the fact still remains that crime is still on the rise. Many residents are becoming more afraid of the violent crimes surrounding their communities.

I think that there should be more crime prevention and crime “watch” groups within the communities. I feel that more police officers should be hired and work within the communities and neighborhoods and also in the local elementary and high schools.

The more secure the neighborhoods are, the safer the residents will feel. Another thing that may help with decreasing the crime rate is the punishment being given to the criminal. Many criminals seem to get a “slap-on-the-wrist” punishment, which often leads to them becoming a habitual offender.

A juvenile committing a crime often figures that because of their age, they won’t be punished — and in some cases they’re not. This, however, results most times in them becoming a habitual offender at a young age. The dropout rate of juveniles leaves them with much idle time to participate in negative activity. There should be workshops and programs for youth discussing crime prevention and furthering education.

There are other contributing factors to crime, such as drugs and guns. It will take crucial law enforcement and the help of the community to keep these negative forces out. It is sad and heartbreaking to say that the majority of people killed in the parish are young black men. Most of the perpetrators are also.

I would like to see the crime rate decrease tremendously. I would like to see the communities and law enforcement come together and prove to these criminals that their acts of violence are totally unacceptable.

If everyone adhered to the law, then there will be less crime activity.

Without a solution, crime rates are going to keep rising and go beyond the point of no return. This will leave many families sad and heartbroken and a lot of them will be left with unanswered questions. There will also be a lot of black males lost to the prison system, never being able to lead a normal, productive life.


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