The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana is headquartered in the Russell B. Long Federal Courthouse in downtown Baton Rouge. The district covers a nine-parish region in South Central Louisiana that includes Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana parishes. The district has a population of approximately one million.
The Baton Rouge area is home to many federal law enforcement agencies that work closely with the office, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF); Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division (EPA-CID); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG); U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI); U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG); U.S. Marshal’s Service (USMS); U.S. Postal Inspection Service; U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General; U.S. Secret Service (USSS); and Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG).
The Baton Rouge area has a strong and diverse economy that has been recognized in recent years by various national rankings: #1 Best Mid-Sized Metro Area in the U.S. for New and Expanded Corporate Facilities (Site Selection magazine); #1 Metro Area for Economic Growth Potential in the U.S. (Business Facilities); #1 Major Market (Southern Business & Development); #3 Best Performing Cities for Wage and Salary Growth (Milken Institute); #7 Best Cities for Jobs (Forbes); #8 Best Places to Live in America (Areavibes); #8 Healthiest Small Business Climate in the South (Business Journal); #14 America’s Engineering Hubs: The Cities With the Greatest Capacity for Innovation (Forbes); Top 5 Emerging Entrepreneurial Hubs (Entrepreneur); 5 Great Cities for Young Adults (Kiplinger).
Baton Rouge is the state capital and home to Louisiana State University (LSU) and Southern University. The city also has a significant medical community that includes several research and teaching hospitals, campuses for the LSU and Tulane University medical schools, and LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, which conducts clinical and biological research.
Many of the world’s leading petrochemical companies have a significant presence in the Baton Rouge area, including ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, and Honeywell. The industry is projected to grow even more in the coming years, with over $20 billion in petrochemical projects announced or underway in the Baton Rouge area. The Port of Greater Baton Rouge, located in Port Allen, Louisiana, is an integral part of the Louisiana maritime industry and the region’s overall economy; the Port ranks among the top 13 ports in the United States. The technology sector also continues to expand, with IBM constructing a new 800-person technology center on the riverfront in downtown Baton Rouge.
Baton Rouge has experienced a significant increase in its film industry, which now includes a movie studio complex known as Celtic Media Centre. Over 100 productions can call the Baton Rouge area home and the number grows each year. The area provides the setting for a variety of popular television shows and films, from the fictional town of Bon Temps in Pointe Coupee Parish where True Blood was filmed to the ultra-modern buildings in downtown Baton Rouge where films like Battleship, Battle L.A., and Oblivion were filmed.
LSU and Southern University feature some of the nation’s best in college sports, with LSU regularly fielding top ten football and baseball teams. Every game is an event. In early 2014, the NCAA ranked Southern’s band, known as “the Human Jukebox,” as second best in the country, while LSU’s football stadium expanded to a capacity now exceeding 100,000. Louisiana’s legendary tailgating tradition at both schools adds even more entertainment.
Baton Rouge is also home to the Bayou Country Superfest and hosted the Miss USA Pageant. Baton Rouge hosts several Mardi Gras parades, the largest one being held in historic Spanish Town, and there are many more in the surrounding parishes. Other festivals include Fest for All, Louisiana Earth Day, Pennington Balloon Festival, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and Red Stick International Animation Festival.
The Baton Rouge area also has a vibrant visual arts scene, which includes the Shaw Center for the Arts, Louisiana Arts and Science Museum, Baton Rouge River Center Theatre for the Performing Arts, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, the Louisiana Youth Orchestra, Opera Louisiane, and LSU’s Swine Palace.