Murder rate down, shootings up from year to year

Murder rate down, shootings up from year to year

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "We ended the year with 150 murders which is the lowest it's been in 40 years," says NOPD Chief Michael Harrison.

There were 5 fewer killings in 2014 compared to 2013, but it's also the third year in a row there's been a downward trend. Michael Harrison credits the NOLA for Life initiative.

"It's helping us identify individuals who are tied to other individuals and how they are tied to groups that commit violent acts," says Harrison.

Harrison says through the NOLA for Life initiative, 106 alleged gang members were indicted in 2014.

"We're seeing the number of gang member involved murders decreasing year to year," says Harrison.

"An important part of that strategy also focuses on getting individuals a very strong message that the shooting in New Orleans has to stop," says Judy Reese Morse.

While the murders are down, shooting incidents are up, with 398 people shot in 2014 compared to 322 in 2013. That's 76 more shooting victims.

"That's going to speak to our manpower," says Harrison.

Harrison says right now, the department is responding to shootings, but in the future he want to do more to prevent them. To achieve that, he says more are needed on the street.

"So, we're growing. We're putting a hundred new cars on the street. We have a recruit class that just came out. We have another class that will be coming out in March. We are starting a new class in January," says Harrison.

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