Survey: EBR backs stormwater fee, believes BRPD & Sheriff should be merged

Survey: EBR backs stormwater fee, believes BRPD & Sheriff should be merged


A clear majority of Baton Rouge residents want the Baton Rouge Police Department and East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s office merged. They support a fee to clean up trash from waterbodies and believe that the parish has a very serious litter problem. And six of 10 parents want their children to leave the parish to live elsewhere as adults.

These are some of the findings from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s annual survey for its CityStats project, which has measured the quality of life in East Baton Rouge Parish for 13 years.

 In the field from late June through early August, the poll sampled 549 EBR residents. It is representative of people who live in East Baton Rouge Parish. The error margin is plus or minus 4.2%. LSU’s Public Policy Research Lab conducted the survey under contract with The Foundation, as it has done for 12 of the 13 annual polls. 

 Select results from the CityStats poll: 

 Stormwater fee and litter

 62% said they would pay a $10 per month fee to keep trash out of parish waterways, which are polluted from plastics and other rubbish that washes into them from stormwater drains. 35% are against the fee, and the rest didn’t’ say. Digging into the data, only Republicans were alone in opposing a stormwater fee, with 55% against and 41% for it.  


More than ever, Baton Rouge residents believe EBR has a litter problem. In this annual survey, a record 75% said that the parish has a significant litter problem. On a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is “very serious,” 56% rated the problem as a 5.  

 As a response, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome started an anti-litter and cleanup campaign earlier this year.

 Leave the parish

 60% of parents want their children to leave the parish and live elsewhere when they are adults, up from 45% in 2019. The top four reasons, in order: to seek out better opportunities, because Baton Rouge is dangerous, for a higher quality of life, and to escape racism. 

 32% said it didn’t matter whether their children remain in EBR or leave; 7% want their kids to stay put in EBR when they are adults.

 Government and Civic Engagement 

 A majority of respondents support merging Baton Rouge Police with the EBR Sheriff’s Office. 57% were for combining the two largest law enforcement forces into one, while 32% were opposed, and 11% had no answer. A majority of Republicans (55%), Democrats (60%) and independents (54%) are for a merger.

 48% of respondents said the parish is going in the wrong direction, up from 42% last year and the highest level in the three years the question has been asked. 36% said the parish is going in the right direction, and the rest didn’t answer.

 As for EBR’s pace of progress, 69% said the parish wasn’t progressing fast enough, the second highest level in the 13 years of the survey. 19% said the pace was right and 6% said it was too fast. 

53% believe they have little or no influence over elected officials, a big improvement from the record 68% last year, when the pandemic was in full force.

East Baton Rouge Parish prison is decades old. But, as of now, a small majority of residents don’t want to pay a new property tax for a jail that would be smaller and provide more rehabilitation services. 52% are against a tax for a new jail, while 41% are for it.

2020 presidential election

63% said the 2020 U.S. presidential election was legitimate and accurate, while 26% said the election was a result of illegal voting or rigging. Democrats and Republicans are divided, with 90% of Democrats answering the election was legitimate, while 69% of Republicans saying it was not. 


54% support the creation of an independent commission in Louisiana to draw the lines of legislative and congressional districts, which is how nine states do so after the U.S. Census is completed every 10 years. 32% are opposed. As in most other states, Louisiana lawmakers draw new districts based on Census population shifts. 

Voting by mail

65% say Louisiana should allow anyone to vote by mail if they want to. 33% are against open voting by mail, with most of them being Republicans; 82% are against it. 93% of Democrats and 62% of independents are for broad access to mail-in voting. 

Marijuana legalization 

60% believe marijuana should be legalized for sale and personal use by adults. 30% are for medical use only, which is the current state law. Only 8% want marijuana to be totally illegal. 

In favor of legalizing for personal use: 68% of independents, 61% of Democrats and 47% of Republicans, a plurality. 

The CityStats project is underwritten by Newton B. Thomas Support Foundation, a supporting nonprofit of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. 

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