BRPD Police Chief upholds promise of 100 crime cameras up in his first 100 days

BATON ROUGE —- Baton Rouge Police Chief Thomas Morse Jr. spoke at the Baton Rouge Rotary Club about his first 100 days in office including 100 crime cameras. The Chief addressed the goals he’s met since January highlighting communication as being high on his list. 

The hot topic in Baton Rouge is all about crime and the chief did not shy away from the issue. The chief says in meetings with people all across the city, safety is at the forefront of the conversations.

“What I’ve gathered so far, all of Baton Rouge has the same goal, a safer, more secure, more prosperous Capital City.” Morse said. “We’ve been seeing violent crime that is less random than ever before, more targeted than ever before, with younger suspects, and fueled mainly by group retaliation that’s happening in a much tighter window of time than we’ve ever seen before.” 

Morse says while the “bad actors” are few and make up a small percentage of the city, their actions are unacceptable. 

“My team and I are prepared to use every tool at our disposal to address the recent uptick of crime and the small percentage of the city that is responsible for it.” he added.

One of those tools in their disposal is the Page/Rice camera initiative. An initiative created in honor of Allie Rice and Devin Page, Jr. that provides free crime cameras to selected home and business owners in troubled areas. The program covers the cost of the cameras, installation, and connection to law enforcement. To battle violent crime, Morse set a goal of 100 cameras in his first 100 days.

crime cameras

“Through our public and private partnerships, we have gained new access to well over 100 cameras since the beginning of the year,” said the chief.

Along with installing security cameras, the initiative will also increase the number of license plate readers along Baton Rouge roads. All security cameras will get ZeroEyes software integration, which uses AI to detect guns.

According to the ZeroEyes website, this software analyzes over 36,000 images per second from video feeds and alerts police within seconds if a firearm is detected. ZeroEyes aims to deliver a human-verified visual gun detection and situational awareness solution that integrates into existing digital security cameras to stop mass shootings and gun-related violence.

MORE: Six months since Allie Rice was murdered, family still searching for answers

In an earlier interview, Paul Rice, Allie Rice’s father, said he feels confident about the cameras and has hopes that it will make a difference in the future.

“We were able to see a live demonstration of how the camera was able to actually pick up and highlight the gun, focusing on the person who had it,” Rice said. “And from the control center, they’re able to zoom in on the picture and make sure it’s a real guy, snap pictures, send out alerts to the authorities that this is going to be connected with, and get a very quick response within a matter of seconds. It was very, very impressive.

“There’s a lot of prevention possibilities there,” he added. “There’s a lot of opportunity to gather evidence and what led up to the incident, things like that. So I do think it will be a valuable tool.”

Chief Morse said businesses and individuals with public facing cameras already in place, can list their cameras on the connect blue directory, which gives access to BRPD. 

In his address today, the Chief also said morale in the department is on the rise and his department has taken 480 firearms off the street this year. The Chief also quickly touched on St. George saying that nothing changes for his department. Their area of responsibility will not change.

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