Since the epidemic began, violent crime has increased dramatically across the country. According to data compiled for the first half of this year by the Major Cities Chiefs Association, a professional organization of police executives, the numbers have remained relatively stable in much of the country this year, but have continued to rise in a number of cities, including Dallas, Phoenix, and New Orleans.
According to a Wall Street Journal examination of the organization’s statistics, which was gathered from the majority of the top law-enforcement departments around the country, New Orleans has the highest homicide rate of any major city so far this year, with nearly 41 killings per 100,000 people. For the same time, the homicide rate in Chicago was 11.5 per 100,000, 4.8 per 100,000 in Los Angeles, and 2.4 per 100,000 in New York City.
According to the Metropolitan Crime Commission Inc., a charity that seeks to lessen crime in the city, the homicide rate in New Orleans is up 141% year to date compared to the same period in 2019. Armed robberies are up 25%, carjackings are up 210%, and shootings are up 100%. Homicide rates are expected to rise above those of previous year, which were the worst since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Criminologists and law enforcement officials have identified a number of plausible causes for the spike in violent crime in the United States, including stress brought on by the epidemic, police backlash during racial-justice rallies, and a profusion of weapons.
City leaders and locals in New Orleans refer to a stressed-out police force as a significant contributing cause. Ronal Serpas, who served as the city’s police superintendent from 2010 to 2014 and is currently a professor of criminal justice at Loyola University New Orleans, estimates that the city had around 50% to 60% of the officers it needs to provide effective safety for people.
In this city, there is both a crime and a confidence problem, he declared.
Police officers and political figures claim that the department has been hampered in part by the fallout from a decade-old agreement between the federal government and the city to address corruption and other issues, which they claim has led to crackdowns on officers for minor infractions. These figures include Democratic Mayor LaToya Cantrell. Criminals in the city have it easier because police officers are quitting the department more swiftly than the city can hire replacements.
Shaun Ferguson, the superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department, said that offenders “are bolder and more aggressive.” “They don’t think there will be any repercussions for what they did,”
According to a recent assessment by an analytics company given to city council, the police force is overworked to the point that the typical 911 response time is two and a half hours. The delay for highly urgent emergency calls, according to the agency, is significantly less.
Because of the city’s incapacity to deal with the crime wave, there are rifts among civic, business, and community leaders, which encourages some company owners and citizens to move out—a vicious cycle that makes matters worse.
The mayor also highlighted a common grievance among police officers: a 2012 deal between the city and the federal government to restructure the force. After then-Mayor Mitch Landrieu requested the Justice Department to investigate the New Orleans police in 2010, the deal, also known as a consent decree, was put into effect. It provided a federal court the ability to supervise police changes to address long-standing difficulties with corruption, equality, abuse of power, and other issues.
Because the court hasn’t yet ruled that the issues have been settled, the decree’s original six-year term was extended. The decree has been criticized by Mayor Cantrell, who claims that it has resulted in officers receiving repeated punishment for violations that were minor.
Officers resent being written up by an internal unit with authority under the consent agreement for offenses like dress code breaches that may take months to investigate, according to Mr. Martin, who left the department last autumn.
According to Superintendent Ferguson, the consent decree has made it more difficult to hire and retain police personnel. We desperately need additional officers, he declared. “There is no easy solution.”
This year, the city’s police force will spend a total of $215 million, compared to $178 million in 2021. That works up to $570 for each resident. This fiscal year, New York is spending $653 on policing each citizen.
Mayor Cantrell, who was re-elected last year, has been under fire from some in the city for not reacting to crimes quickly enough and for not doing more to assist police.
Even while it is still one of the most popular tourist spots in the nation, many people are concerned that rising violent crime may change this. A key component of the economy, tourism has recovered since the Covid-19 lockdowns but is still below prepandemic levels. According to the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, visitor spending in New Orleans hit a record high of $5.2 billion in 2019. In 2020, it dropped to $2.6 billion before rising to $3.8 billion in the previous year.
Recently, two New York-based police consultants were engaged by the charity New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation to evaluate the issue and collect money for the city’s police. To increase the number of officers on the streets, it was recommended in a preliminary report from their evaluation to immediately move 212 officers assigned to special operations, investigations, and other units to uniformed patrols.
If there is ever a chance to salvage the city and restore its reputation as a place where visitors can come to party and enjoy without becoming victims, action needs to be made IMMEDIATELY, according to the research. The foundation’s chairperson, Elizabeth Boh, said that in the upcoming weeks and months, local authorities will be pressing for significant improvements.
Following Katrina, New Orleans has been in a death spiral with Ray Nagin. Levee failure and success by the Army Corps of Engineers put an end to the “Joie de Vive” City flooding was caused by levee failure; levee success is the main cause of coastal erosion and subsidence, which leads to sewage and water line failures. Those who could have left but opted not to do so because of fear for their safety in the city/region. Not worth the effort. And recently, a sharp rise in house insurance has forced many to reevaluate their options and leave.
When Mitch Landrieu was in charge and now that Latoya the Destroyer is at the helm, the death spiral accelerated dramatically. New Orleans is no longer the commercial center it once was due to developments and advancements in international trade.
Cantrell’s recall will reveal much. This is perhaps the city’s final opportunity to make things right. It is not guaranteed. When 50% plus 1 of the population is dependent on the government for survival, society is destined to disintegrate into itself. Uncertain whether it got to that point. The recall campaign will reveal much.