LSU officials working to ease some parents’ concerns about crime after Allie Rice’s murder

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) — LSU officials are trying to calm the nerves of some concerned parents after the murder of 21-year-old marketing senior Allison Rice last week.

We’re told that some parents have recently contacted LSU officers about crime and asked if they’re doing anything different when it comes to campus safety.

A response from an LSU spokesman to a concerned parent on Tuesday, September 20 read:

“The LSU community is saddened and mourning the loss of senior Allison Rice. We are asking anyone with information regarding her murder to come forward and contact the Baton Rouge City Police Department. All indications are that this was an act of random violence, and police have no evidence of LSU students being specifically targeted. We appreciate your concern and assure you that LSU administration is constantly making safety improvements and will continue to find ways to protect our students.

LSU PD continues 24-hour patrols on campus and specifically conducts dormitories patrols at night and has increased their visibility by activating the steady blue lights on their vehicles. The PD has more than 60 trained police officers, as well as surveillance cameras across campus, which will also be upgraded soon. We will also be upgrading lighting across campus with a campus lighting project in the works. We encourage students to report suspicious activity to LSU Police at 225-578-3231 or through the LSU Shield app. In an emergency, dial 911.”

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A spokesman for LSU tells WAFB they have received occasional messages from parents about various incidents since the beginning of the school year.

“Unfortunately, some of the crimes committed were real and the shooting of Allie Rice last week was horrific and affected many people. So we’re sharing available safety resources and safety tips offered by the LSU Police Department. But there are also still a number of rumors,” said Ernie Ballard, interim vice president of LSU’s Office of Communications and University Relations

“You know, there’s so much crime in the Baton Rouge area these days. I mean, that was really eye-opening for a lot of people. You hear the stories but you don’t feel them until they hit your home,” said Paul Rice, Allison Rice’s father.

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Rice’s family and friends said goodbye at her funeral on Wednesday. Rice was shot dead last week while waiting for a train to cross Government Street.

“It was a needless murder. And that murder word stings,” Rice said.

As Baton Rouge police continue to search for suspects, they said they are working hard to apprehend the killer.

City leaders are scheduled to address this case and the recent violence in Baton Rouge during a news conference on Thursday.

A little over a week ago, Sharon Weston Broome, mayor and president of East Baton Rouge, told the Baton Rouge press club that violent crime had declined this summer.

“Let’s look at the numbers, I believe in data. If you compare this summer to last year from May 27th to August 20th, we saw an improvement in 4 out of 5 violent crime categories. Compared to the last time in the same period. Actual homicides fell by 25% and fatal shootings by 15%. Non-fatal shootings also saw a small decrease of 1.3%. Now remember that this happened during our “Summer of Hope.” Knife stabbings decreased by 51%, robberies by 12% and sex offenses by 6%. In attack and battery, we saw a 6% increase this summer compared to last year. Overall, year-to-date visits to the Baton Rouge Police Department are down 6%. What this tells us now, this level of intense community engagement is having a positive impact on violence in our community,” Broome Mayor-President said on September 12, 2022.

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But now another family is waiting for answers.

“For me, I don’t have much confidence that they (the suspect(s)) will come forward on their own. The best I can hope for is that someone knows something and does the right thing,” said Paul Rice.

The public safety press conference is scheduled for Thursday, September 22 at 12:30 p.m

WAFB will broadcast it live on-air and online.

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