Rep. Garret Graves on crime: 'Doing nothing is not an option'

Staff Report

U.S. Congressman Garret Graves secured $375,000 for a local non-profit program focused on youth crime prevention and diversion. The funding passed in a U.S. House funding bill which is now before the U.S. Senate.

In a file photo, Republican Louisiana Congressman Garret Graves speaks July 22.

In a news release, Graves pointed to data showing young offenders, particularly in the Baton Rouge region, are significant contributors to the crime rate.

Launched in 2018, TRUCE is a community-based non-profit that identifies and supports at-risk south Louisiana youth engaged in crime, gang activity, or other violent behavior to seek a more productive, law-abiding path. TRUCE's model uses a focused deterrence approach, including mentoring, recreation, education, employment assistance, and after-school programs.

"The current crime situation in Louisiana is just ridiculous," Graves said. "While the first solution is putting and keeping the criminals in jail, we must work a parallel path to prevent new recruits from joining the criminal path. There is an uptick in murders and other violent crimes, and a years-long backlog in DNA evidence. We are watching our youth become another violent crime statistic – doing nothing is not an option."

The TRUCE intervention program was founded partly by District Attorney Hillar Moore; former Baton Rouge Police Chief Jeff LeDuff; Sheriff Sid Gautreaux; and has been supported by key business leaders, BRPD Chief Murphy Paul, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome and others.