By WL Ian Auzenne | WWL| February 6, 2024

Governor Jeff Landry says the New Orleans Police Department is in shambles. He blames the federal consent decree for handcuffing the NOPD, but one local law enforcement analyst says a bigger problem plagues the department.

“The greatest problem with the police department isn’t the consent decree. It’s the number of officers they have available,” Metropolitan Crime Commission president Rafael Goyeneche told WWL’s Tommy Tucker.

That’s why Goyeneche says the added state police presence will be a big help in fighting crime in the city. Goyeneche points to the annual Operation Golden Eagle patrols as examples that state troopers will have a positive impact on the crime rate.

“The last several years, that has contributed to the crime rate dropping during their presence here,” Goyeneche said. “I believe that a permanent troop here will have that same impact on it.”

According to Goyeneche, the troopers assigned to Troop NOLA will work in coordination with the New Orleans Police Department.

“They’re going to be meeting with the police department, putting together a unified plan,” Goyeneche said. “The state police are not going to be operating independently or without the full knowledge and support of the NOPD. I’ve been assured of that.

“What they’re going to be doing is that they are going to target certain areas,” Goyeneche continued. “They’re going to be identifying some of the high crime areas in the city and seeing what they can do to assist the police department in building cases against them.”

As for the consent decree: Goyeneche says that even with an historically low number of officers, the NOPD is making positive strides.

“The police department is in position now, even with 900 officers, to achieve substantial compliance with the consent decree this year.”