New Orleans is now America’s murder capital, surpassing St. Louis.
According to the Metropolitan Crime Commission, New Orleans had so far seen 205 murders in 2022 as of September 11. New Orleans has 52 murders per 100,000 residents and is the most dangerous U.S. metropolis. St. Louis has 45. According to Fox News, Baltimore is the third-worst city for murders, with 40 homicides every 100,000 residents. Chicago has 17 homicides each 100,000 residents.
New Orleans saw a 141% rise in homicides in 2019 compared to the COVID-19 pandemic. The shootings have increased by 100% in Louisiana’s Big Easy party capital, compared to 2019.
Rafael Goyeneche, Metropolitan Crime Commission, stated that carjackings have increased by 7% and armed thefts have increased by 42%. “It has finally reached a tipping point and the public demanded it is done.”
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell recently hired Fausto Pichardo as a crime prevention consultant. He is the former head of the New York City Police Department’s Patrol Division.
Pichardo’s 9-page summary of 50 suggestions that the New Orleans Police Department should make to reduce crime and save the city was published last week.
Pichardo stated that “action must be taken NOW” if the city is to be saved and reestablished its reputation as a place where tourists can party and celebrate, and not become victims. “The New Orleans residents… need and deserve a police force that makes them feel safe and is there to help them whenever they call 911.
He said, “The simple expectation that the police will be there when you call them is not an actual reality in New Orleans.”
Pichardo suggested the NOPD take any officers who are currently in an administrative, general assignment, or district detective positions and put them on the streets for patrol.
Pichardo stated that the New Orleans Police Department’s peak had 1143 commissioned officers. With such a large workforce, NOPD had the potential to create special positions/units within its department without compromising its ability to provide adequate 911 service. This is no longer true.
Goyeneche stated that “We are down more than a third of the police force we need right now.” He will be interested in the crime rate but will also try to address the delay in responding times.
A spokesperson for NOPD stated that Pichardo’s suggestions may not be implemented and might not even be possible.
The spokesperson stated that the 10-day scan was a quick assessment done by another set of eyes and from a different perspective. The document is more of an outline than a set of policy changes. These recommendations still need to be verified for feasibility.