Shortage of officers: Be careful headed to downtown BR for July 4th

It’s been a July 4th tradition forever to go to downtown Baton Rouge at the levee for the fireworks. This year however, it appears the Baton Rouge Police Department cannot find enough officers to volunteer to work downtown on Independence Day.

Downtown Baton Rouge falls within the city limits, which is why BRPD is responsible for providing security.

In an internal BRPD email leaked to Unfiltered with Kiran, the deputy chief over uniform patrol said, “Due to the timing and extremely low interest by our officers, our event organizers are in need of more manpower.”

Whenever officers volunteer to work July 4th or any other BRPD event that falls outside of their normal schedule, it counts as overtime pay, which can be up to two and half times the officer’s hourly rate.

This July 4th however, despite that two and half times pay, the department cannot find enough officers to work.

Instead, officers who normally work on Sunday evenings and overnight will now have to be assigned to head downtown on July 4th. Their supervisors will have to assign an officer from each district on both the evening and overnight shifts to work downtown.

In years past, it’s been the opposite problem where officers await the emails to sign up to work events for overtime because they used to book up very quickly.

If there is a need, BRPD can reach out to the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office requesting their deputies to assist with the event. 

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