BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Fifteen years after the first state-sanctioned crime prevention district was created in New Orleans' Lakeview neighborhood, there are now at least 50 established in state law.

Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie says the districts provide a service for neighborhoods that want added security.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff's spokesman, Col. John Fortunato, says such districts are a "plus for everyone."

Proponents also say the districts help keep property values up.

The Advocate reports ( voters in each district have to approve a levy — a mandatory "parcel fee" — and when they do, the $50 to $500 annual fee is collected at the same time as property taxes.

Nearly all the funds generated goes toward crime prevention, such as hiring extra patrols, installing cameras, improving lighting and attacking blighted property.