First Responders Nightmare

First Responders Nightmare

If the annexation of parts of The Mall of Louisiana goes into effect June 13, as envisioned by the Metro Council, the City of Baton Rouge may have to build a new Fire Station and a new Police Substation to cover The Mall of Louisiana.

At present, law enforcement at The Mall is provided by the Sheriff’s Office and fire protection is provided by the St. George Fire Department.  However, under the annexation ordinance, Baton Rouge City Police would have jurisdiction in the hallways, small stores, and parking lots, while the Sheriff would continue to provide law enforcement protection to the four anchor stores at The Mall — Dillard’s, J.D. Penney’s, Macy’s, and Sears.

Similarly, the Baton Rouge Fire Department will have to provide fire

protection in the hallways, smaller stores, and parking lots, while the St. George Fire Department will continue to serve the four anchor stores.

In order to meet its obligations to The Mall, the City of Baton Rouge would have to build a new fire station in the area.

Likewise, the Baton Rouge City Police would need a new substation close to The Mall.

At least that is the conclusion of several law enforcement and fire department officials contacted.

Other law enforcement surmised that the BRPD would have to add 20 officers to the already short-handed department just to provide protection at The Mall.

The question is whether Baton Rouge residents are willing to pull police officers away from high crime areas in order to cover The Mall.

No study has been conducted to determine exactly what needs to be done.

During its debate on the annexation of parts of The Mall, Metro Councilman Buddy Amoroso asked that a vote be delayed in order to ascertain how the annexation of parts of The Mall could be managed by the city.  However, the Council refused to go along with a delay.

Ultimately, only three Councilman opposed the annexation — Baton Rouge Mayor Pro-Tem Chandler Loupe and Councilmen Amoroso and Ryan Heck.

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