For the first time since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans police have a permanent foundation from which to tackle crime in the Fifth District.
Tuesday was move-in day for the district's new station at 3900 North Claiborne Avenue. Just over nine years ago, a slightly smaller Fifth District station stood in the same spot.
"Now, we're calling this site home again," said NOPD Commander Christopher Goodley.
For the officers who have spent their career serving in the Fifth, the new and bright orange 17,000-square-foot complex is their final station location since Katrina.
Goodley recited the exhaustive list of moves they've had to make.
"Since Katrina, they've moved from the building being destroyed to where they were located during the storm, which was the St. Claude General Hospital, then they moved to the cruise ship, then they moved to trailers right here at this very site, then they bought the temporary building at the furniture store on St. Claude, then they moved into the Bywater," said Goodley.
The station is built to not only weather any new storm, but also send a strong message to criminals, including those responsible for multiple shootings just a few days ago.
"We're not giving up the fight," said Goodley. "We're moving forward, that the fight is continuing and that we're motivated more than ever now to keep that fight going and to try to reduce crime as best as possible."
Reducing crime comes down in large-part to hiring new police recruits, according to criminologist Peter Scharf.
"You can't hire 27 people and lose 50 in a quarter or half a year and keep the boat above water," Scharf said.
Goodley said the building, and the new police vehicles they'll be receiving, should help with recruitment.
"It is a great step forward for the community and also the officers that serve this community," said Goodley.
Goodley said the roll call room seats 70 people comfortably, and the building has the capacity to house hundreds of law enforcement officers in the event of an emergency or storm.
An NOPD spokesperson released this statement:
"Effective Tuesday, July 22, 2014, the 5th District Police Station will be in transition from 4015 Burgundy back to it's pre-Hurricane Katrina location of 3900 North Claiborne Ave. During the transition, 4015 Burgundy will still be manned and functioning until the move is completed."