By Anna McAllister | WGNO | January 17, 2022
NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — As New Orleans City Council members gathered for a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial service, they vowed to address the issue of crime in their upcoming special meeting.
“What you will see from these two meetings this week is tremendous, immediate action from the council to try and address these problems,” said JP Morrell, councilman at-large.
Hours later, the New Orleans Metropolitan Crime Commission announced it will publish a weekly crime bulletin to keep track of the violent crime in Orleans Parish.
“We’re also providing a police district by district breakdown of the locations of the major crimes of violence that are being tracked by the crime commission,” said Rafael Goyeneche, President of New Orleans Metropolitan Crime Commission.
That includes homicides, shootings, armed robberies and carjackings. Goyeneche says a special city council meeting to address crime is long overdue.
“It’s been two years in the making,” said Goyeneche.
According to the Metropolitan Crime Commission, homicides are up 367% and carjackings are up 157% compared to this time last year. Goyeneche says the first issue the city council needs to tackle when it comes to crime is getting more police officers on the streets.
“The way that you rebuild those number is you factor in a raise over a four to five year period of time and that will stabilize the department and slow down the attrition rate,” said Goyeneche.
Goyeneche also hopes the new council will reverse an ordinance banning facial recognition technology for police.
He says it’s time for city leaders to get hands on to get crime under control.
“We can’t just sit here and wish this crime surge away. It’s going to require some fundamental changes,” said Goyeneche.
Goyeneche says the number of New Orleans police is at a 50 year low and says that if city leaders don’t step in soon, 2022 will be much more dangerous than last year.
New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Shaun Ferguson will address the council during it’s first full meeting this Thursday. Next Monday, the council will hold a special meeting with District Attorney Jason Williams and officials from Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s office.