MONROE, La. (4/12/2019) — Protecting downtown businesses — that’s the purpose of the Monroe Police Department’s new business watch program.
“It’s just for the businesses to have a voice in the community to speak directly to the police department and for us to be able to have a voice to speak directly to them,” said Detective Chris Bates.
Det. Chris Bates will serve as the liaison.
He will be representing 246 businesses in the downtown corridor extending from 1-20 to Louisville Avenue.
He said it’s not about fighting a problem, but being proactive.
“We don’t have a crime problem in Downtown Monroe, but what it does it just helps us to be able to say hey if businesses have a concern we can reach out to them,” said Bates.
An idea that eases Downtown Economic Development District Chairman Larry Bratton’s mind.
“This is what I would call neighborhood watch on steroids,” Bratton said. “This gives us the opportunity that if something is going on we can not only talk to each other but we have got have a conduit straight to the police department.”
A direct link to MPD that Bratton said will benefit all downtown businesses.
“If you got one or two businesses experiencing the same thing that is something officer bates and those guys can put together and do a little heavier research,” said Bratton.
As the summertime, nears as the crowds are expected to grow bates says he’s looking forward to working one-on-one to keep DOMO safe.
“We’ll be able to meet those needs and send out officers and do whatever we need to do to make sure their businesses are safe and successful and safe,” said Bates.
MPD will host an official kick-off event May 1 at the Monroe Chamber of Commerce.