Concern over crime has reached the highest level in four years amid a rise in homicides and violent crime in major cities, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll. Washington Post criminal justice reporter Tom Jackman will speak with Baton Rouge police chief Murphy Paul about how his department has responded, his recent meeting with the Biden administration and lessons from the nationwide reckoning over policing.

Highlights

Chief Murphy Paul said the administration’s strategy has helped his department “be more creative” to counteract difficulties in hiring new officers. “I am thankful for the President and the comprehensive strategy that he has put together to reduce violence in the country… The flexibility that has been given to us through the President has really allowed us to be more creative in how we recruit.” (Washington Post Live)
BRPD Police Chief Murphy Paul said the interruption of services has “played a key role” in the surge of violent crime. “When we look at over a year ago when the pandemic presented change in all of our communities and economic hardship… What it did is it exacerbated what we call disinvested communities… Crime is a social economic issue… I believe the interruption of systems has played a role in what we’re experiencing.” (Washington Post Live)
The Baton Rouge Police Chief pointed to the number of officers who have quit or been terminated as examples of officers being held accountable. “Simple research on how many officers… who we’ve terminated or who’ve quit while under investigation… will show that we take our policies very seriously… and there has been a lot of accountability.” (Washington Post Live)
Police Chief Murphy attributed the rise in covid related 911 calls to fear of the virus. “I lost my father to covid last year. So, I understand, and I don’t think I’ve spoken with anyone who hasn’t lost a loved one, a friend, or someone to covid. And we know there’s a lot of fear, and when someone calls 911, that’s fear. That’s why education and awareness is so important.” (Washington Post Live)

Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul

Provided by Baton Rouge Police Department.

Chief Paul began his career with the Baton Rouge Police Department on January 1, 2018, after retiring from the Louisiana State Police as a Deputy Superintendent with more than 26 years in Law Enforcement. He has held management responsibilities in various areas or law enforcement which included the oversight of Gaming Operations, Criminal and Special Investigations as well as the State Fusion Center.

Chief Paul has served on The LA Governor’s Drug Policy Board, the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies (ASCIA), the Regional Counter-Drug Training Academy RCTA and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Executive Board.

Chief Paul earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Loyola University in New Orleans, LA.