By Morgan Lentes | WDSU | November 9, 2020



A local nonprofit has released a report highlighting an uptick in homicides, shootings and other violent crime in New Orleans this year.

Rafael Goyeneche, president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, said given these trends, Mayor LaToya Cantrell should reconsider furloughing the city’s police officers.

Cantrell announced furloughs for city employees in October.

“We wouldn’t even consider laying off or furloughing pump operators during a hurricane,” Goyeneche said. “We tell them to come to work, and we’ll figure out a way to pay for it. Well, we’re experiencing a hurricane of violent crime in the city, and we can’t be furloughing officers. We need all hands on deck.”

WDSU reached out to Mayor Cantrell’s office and the New Orleans Police Department for comment.

A spokesperson for the NOPD provided the following statement:

“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.”

To read the full report, click here.