BATON ROUGE – Yesterday in Baton Rouge, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) spoke to the SafeBR group, a coalition of elected officials, businesses, and non-profit organizations dedicated to reducing violent crime in Baton Rouge.
“Our communities must be safe if we want families and businesses to move to Baton Rouge and elsewhere in Louisiana,” said Dr. Cassidy. “We need to support our police, invest in mental health, crack down on the spread of fentanyl, and address root causes such as illiteracy, unaddressed dyslexia and the need for more economic opportunity.”
SafeBR, which was formed this February, focuses on providing new resources to law enforcement, investing in evidence-based strategies to disrupt the cycle of crime and violence, and ensuring accountability and transparency in the justice system. Cassidy has introduced legislation to increase federal penalties for criminals that target law enforcement, support small law enforcement agencies, and allow state and local police agencies to enforce America’s immigration laws.
Additionally, Cassidy introduced the HALT Fentanyl Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in May with a two-thirds majority. The legislation permanently designates fentanyl and fentanyl analogs as Schedule I drugs as part of the Controlled Substances Act. Cassidy has also introduced legislation to increase access to fentanyl test strips, which would prevent deaths from fentanyl poisoning.
Finally, Cassidy’s Safer Communities Act, which passed last June, includes nearly $12 billion to expand access to mental health and $300 million to strengthen school security.
Among other officials, Cassidy was welcomed by Mr. Adam Knapp, President and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and a lead official with SafeBR.
“Our community has seemed unacceptably high levels of gun violence, and we appreciate Senator Cassidy taking an active role in pursuing new federal legislation to help support our federal state and local agencies doing more and getting more support to officers to fight violent crime,” said Adam Knapp. “Our SafeBR coalition was founded by local leaders to drive new anti-violence initiatives like Senator Cassidy is pursuing.”