Despite additional costs, many B.R. property owners hire extra security
As a downtown resident and landlord, Darryl Gissel pays a 117.5-mill property tax on his home as well as on each of the rental properties he owns—money that goes, in part, to the Baton Rouge Police Department and to the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office. On each property he pays an additional 10 mills that goes to the Downtown Development District, a portion of which the agency spends on beefed-up security downtown. On top of all that, he pays $100 a year to the Historic Spanish Town Civic Association for an off-duty police officer who patrols the neighborhood several hours a week. That Gissel is essentially paying three times for protection that, in theory, should be provided by local law enforcement as a matter of course might strike some as troubling. But Gissel is unfazed by what he has come to accept as the price of living in Baton Rouge—and, in his particular case, downtown Baton Rouge. "It doesn't bother me," he says. "I'm to the point where I'll do whatever I have to do to make the neighborhood safe." And he's not alone. Increasing numbers of neighborhood groups and private businesses are willingly forking over millions of extra dollars a year to pay for extra off-duty police protection, taking law enforcement into their own hands and paying for a level of perceived safety that government alone is unable to provide. Read the full story by Stephanie Riegel in the current issue of Business Report here.
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