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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – LSU officials are trying to calm the nerves of some anxious parents following the murder of 21-year-old old marketing senior Allison Rice las week.
We’re told some parents have reached out to LSU officials recently about crime, and to ask if they are doing anything different when it comes to safety on campus.
In a response to one concerned parent from an LSU spokesperson on Tuesday, September 20, it says:
“The LSU community is saddened and mourning the loss of senior Allison Rice. We are urging anyone with information on her killing to come forward and contact Baton Rouge City Police. All indications are that this was a random act of violence and the police do not have any indication that LSU students are being targeted. We appreciate your concern and assure you that the LSU administration is working on safety enhancements constantly and will continue to find ways to keep our students safe.
LSU PD continues their 24/7 patrols of campus and specifically conduct patrols around residence halls at night and have increased their visibility by engaging the solid blue lights atop their vehicles. The PD has more than 60 trained police officers as well as security cameras across the campus, which will also soon be getting an upgrade. We will also be upgrading the lighting across campus with a campus lighting project that has been in the works. We encourage students to report any suspicious activity to LSU Police at 225-578-3231 or through the LSU Shield app. In an emergency, dial 911.”
A spokesperson for LSU tells WAFB, they have gotten some messages here and there from parents since the beginning of the school year about different incidents.
“Unfortunately, some of the crime that has occurred has been real and last week’s shooting of Allie Rice was terrible and has a lot of people concerned. So we share the safety resources available and safety tips that are offered by LSU Police. But there are still a number of rumors out there too,” said Ernie Ballard, Interim Vice President of the LSU Office of Communications & University Relations
“You know, there’s so much crime going on in the Baton Rouge area right now. I mean, this has really opened a lot of people’s eyes. You hear the stories, but you don’t feel it, until it hits close to home,” said Paul Rice, the father of Allison Rice.
On Wednesday, family and friends said their final goodbyes goodbye to Rice at her funeral. Rice was shot and killed last week while waiting for a train to cross on Government Street.
“This was an unnecessary murder. And that murder word stings,” said Rice.
While Baton Rouge Police continue to search for suspects, they did say they are working hard to catch the killer.
On Thursday, city leaders are expected to address this case and the recent violence across Baton Rouge during a news conference.
A little more than a week ago at the Baton Rouge Press Club, East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said violent crime was down this Summer.
“Let’s look at the numbers, I believe in data. If you compare this Summer to last year, from May 27 to August 20, we saw there was an improvement in 4 out of 5 categories of violent crime. Compared to the same time period last time. Actual homicides decreased by 25% with fatal shootings decreasing by 15%. Non-fatal shootings also saw a small decrease of 1.3%. Now remember this happened during our ‘Summer of Hope.’ Stabbings decreased by 51%, robberies decreased by 12%, sexual offenses decreased by 6%. In assault and battery, we did see an increase of 6% during this summertime period compared to last year. Overall, the year-to-date calls to service to the Baton Rouge Police Department are down by 6%. Now what this tells us, this level of intensive community engagement is having a positive impact on violence in our community,” said Mayor-President Broome on September 12, 2022.
But now, yet another family waits for answers.
“To me, I don’t have a lot of faith that they’re (suspect(s)) going to come forward on their own. The best I can hope for is that somebody knows something and does the right thing,” said Paul Rice.
The news conference on public safety is set for Thursday, September 22 at 12:30 p.m.
WAFB will stream it live on-air and online.
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