By LBJ | WGNO | November 9, 2020
New Orleans is a much more violent city than it was at this time last year.
Rafael Goyeneche of MCC states, “Violent crime calls are going up. Homicides are up 87% through the end of October of ’20 compared with ’19. “So what’s happening is we’re having a surge in violent crime and you can track that into and follow some of the strategies with declining arrests in narcotics enforcement and weapons offenses.”
Goyeneche also sees the number of people being help at Orleans Parish Prison as a problem, “That jail is a concentration of the worst of the worst and the reason that the numbers are going up is the courts are still essentially closed, you can’t convene juries you can’t adjudicate those cases”>
To add to the bad news, the Crime Commission cites the mayor’s decision to furlough 10% of the city’s workforce, including police as decreasing public safety.
“To me I think it’s failed leadership on the part of the city because we’d never think about the Sewerage and Water Board pump operators during a hurricane, and we’re experiencing a hurricane of crime right now in the City of New Orleans,” said Goyeneche.
This afternoon the New Orleans Police Department responded to the MCC Report:
“Superintendent Shaun Ferguson has on several occasions stated that there is no one factor that can be identified as the single cause for a recent increase in violent crime that is plaguing not only New Orleans but several other cities across the country.
Additionally, as Covid-19 cases increased in New Orleans and globally, NOPD heeded the call for fewer arrests and issue summons in lieu of physical arrest whenever possible.
The NOPD, working closely with our federal and state partners continues to bring the perpetrators of violent crime to justice and provide a safe environment for our citizens.
We have assessed our manpower and compared pre-furlough and furlough schedules. We have noticed only a minimal impact. Through smart, intentional scheduling we may lose one officer per shift, but in many cases, we may not lose any. These are challenging times for our officers, but we will get through this together.”