Mayor, police chief vow to revamp sex crimes unit

Mayor, police chief vow to revamp sex crimes unit

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Police Superintendent Michael Harrison plan big changes in the way the NOPD investigates allegations of rape and sexual assault.

They just made the announcement Tuesday at City Hall in direct response to a scathing report from the city's inspector general.

Five detectives were reassigned after that disastrous report highlighted little or no follow up on hundreds of sex crime cases, some of which involved children.

The report, issued last week, found that between 2011 and 2013 there were 1,290 calls to the NOPD, reporting a possible sex crimes.

More than 800 of those calls were written up as miscellaneous, meaning no report was ever written. Some of those cases involved children who suffered injuries, and were placed back into the same situation.

The mayor, the police chief, and the new commander of the newly created special victims unit vowed to make substantial change.

"Intense investigations are going to take place on all of these five individuals' supervisors that allow it to happen," Landrieu said. "We're going rework every case to make sure that justice is done for every victim, and we're going to completely rework this unit going forward to make sure that this never happens again."

Commander Paul Noel has a big task ahead heading up this new SVU while retaining command of the 2nd District.

"In order to get the job done, I've assembled a team with a combined 55 years of law enforcement experience," Noel said. "Together our team will approach each case from a perspective of a cold case detective."

Noel is reserving judgment on what went wrong until the investigation is complete.

"As we regain the trust of the city of New Orleans, we are going to have this task force that is going to oversee our work and that will be reporting publicly what they find," Landrieu said. "We are completely committed to it and this city is going to be safe for women and for children that are the victims of domestic abuse and or sexual abuse."

The other members of the special NOPD taskforce include:

Detective Sergeant Francis Jarrott, currently assigned to 2nd District.

Detective Jeffrey Keating, currently assigned to 2nd District

Detective Melanie Dillon, currently assigned to Homicide

A member of the Public Integrity Bureau

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