OUACHITA PARISH -- A Monroe councilman is announcing the effort in bringing a study to help fight crime in the parish.
On Thursday morning, councilman Ray Armstrong of District 1 will hold a kick-off event at ULM to announce an application for a $1.125 million crime study grant by the Department of Justice.
"We will position ourselves to apply for it," said Armstrong. "I want to see the entire parish uniting to fight crime."
Armstrong said this study has been done by many cities and the Department of Justice has given $14 billion in awards to communities to fight violence.
"The CDC considers violence to be a public health issue," said Armstrong. "This [study] looks at arrangements between police, schools, organizations and governments to restore public trust."
The study looks at the causes of crime -- generational crime, drugs, gangs, poverty, parental guidance to name a few, according to Armstrong -- in the area and offers suggestions and oversight into what other communities are doing. Armstrong said the grant will also help police with training, new technology and boots-on-the-ground endeavors.
"The enemy is crime, the police are our friends," said Armstrong.
Armstrong said Senator David Vitter and Mary Landrieu have agreed to endorse the study. He said he has also received support from ULM, the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and Century Link.
The announcement will be made at ULM Emy Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall on Thursday morning at 8 a.m. The public is invited to attend.
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