By Natasha Robin | WVUE | June 21, 2022
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Mayor LaToya Cantrell says addressing crime is the city’s top priority.
Meanwhile, crime victims say they’re fed up, and in some cases, ready to leave the city.
“I feel like I am the crisis mayor,” Cantrell said. “For four years, I’ve managed through my team and I have handled multiple crises.”
Cantrell says fighting crime is yet another challenge that the city’s facing under her administration and that she’s vowing to face it with a holistic approach.
Crime victims are saying enough is enough.
“We have opportunity but this crime thing is definitely out of control,” a crime victim told Fox 8.
This victim lives on St. Charles avenue. After burglars with guns broke into his vehicles multiple times, he hired his own armed security guard.
That guard quickly became a victim in front of the home.
“And within the first week, we had an attempted carjacking of the armed security guard by two individuals,” the victim said.
“What we’re dealing with is individuals truly in our city that have no respect for life at all,” Cantrell said. “That’s what we’re dealing with. We have issues with mental health, addiction… that we’re dealing with in our city and it is real.”
The mayor says her administration is focused on treating the root causes of crime, while she says it will take a criminal justice system truly working together as a system to make a difference.
“NOPD is demonstrating, they’ve made significant arrests and we’ve seen the impacts on the ground but we still face challenges,” Cantrell said. “With those significant arrests, we need to ensure that the right people taken off the street, stay off the street.. and that’s where the system as a whole needs to function to protect this city.”
Violent crime victims we talked to are fed up and New Orleans Metropolitan Crime Commission Rafael Goyeneche said that the city faces a multitude of challenges.
“This year versus last year, homicides are up 58 percent,” Goyeneche said. “So the violent crime goes up while the number of officers continues to go down.”
With around a thousand officers still on the force to protect the city, NOPD manpower is in a dire state.
“They’re not going to be able to get in front of this and a lot of the other issues with the staffing issues that they have,” Goyeneche said.
Cantrell says her focus now is on the recruitment and retention of officers.
“We have to continue to keep the officers that we have that have demonstrated time and time again that they’re willing to put it all on the line to protect this community.”
Still, residents worry that it’ll continue to get even worse.
“The criminals are getting more brazen and it’s scary for us to think that this is where we are as a city right now,” the victim said.
The mayor continues to say that public safety is a top priority, but at the same time, she says this isn’t the worst crime the city’s ever experienced.