Specialized NOPD unit makes hundreds of arrests in 2013 - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Specialized NOPD unit makes hundreds of arrests in 2013


NEW ORLEANS - David Eugene was shocked when a 4-year-old boy was shot and his grandmother killed in his normally quiet New Orleans East neighborhood.

Eugene, though, commends the NOPD for making the quick arrest of a suspect just days after it happened.

"We don't know how they did it. I really appreciate them for making the apprehension in this case," says Eugene

Those responsible for making the quick arrest are members of the NOPD's Violent Offenders Warrant Squad. Eight patrolmen and two sergeants make up the team and are responsible for 586 arrests this year alone.

"We go after anybody who's wanted for murder, attempted murder, robbery and even burglary," said Commander Bobby Norton.

The squad has been around since the 1990s.

"It was actually created by Deputy Chief Serpas, who is now Superintendent Serpas," Norton said.

Norton said once a warrant is issued, his men and women are relentless.

High-risk situations call for armored vehicles, obtained by the NOPD after Katrina.

"The bottom line is, this is a huge tool for our guys to move safety and move civilians out of an impact zone," he said. "The windows are bullet-proof and the entire vehicle is bullet-proof up to a 50 caliber."

Thirty-six of the squad's arrest this year have been for murder. Norton said he's especially proud of his team for the arrests made in the fatal hit-and-run of fellow Officer Rodney Thomas.

"These guys and girls worked for three days straight trying to capture every individual, and they did," he said.

He said with his experienced team and high-tech tools, violent offenders have nowhere to hide.

"We'll go to every extent that we can legally and ethically. That's the bottom line. It's never going to end. It's never going to go away, and we are never going to stop," Norton said.

The NOPD's Violent Offenders Warrant Squad also works with U.S. Marshals to capture offenders who leave the state.

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