READ: Uniform Crime Report summary - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

READ: Uniform Crime Report summary

Following is a news release from the New Orleans Police Department:

According to the annual Uniform Crime Report (UCR), the number of murders in New Orleans reached a 43-year low in 2014. At 150 – the lowest number of murders since 1971 – the downward trend represents the third consecutive year that murders have declined in the city and the lowest murder rate in over a decade with 39.6 victims per 100,000 people.

“The final numbers in 2014 show a sustained and historic drop in murder across New Orleans,” said Chief Michael Harrison. “After three consecutive years of murder reduction, we know our focus on enforcement and prevention with the city's compressive NOLA for Life plan is working.”

Pointing to the sweeping indictments and recent guilty verdicts against members of one of New Orleans' most violent street gangs, Harrison added, “Our multi-agency gang unit was instrumental in bringing the 110ers to justice, and we will keep targeting dangerous individuals who commit crime.”

In 2014, the number of reported rapes increased by 38% - from176 in 2013 and in 2014 we had 244 reported cases. “For years, rape has been the most under reported most violent crime in America,” Chief Harrison stated. “We are encouraged that more survivors of sexual assault are coming forward to the NOPD, and we are fully committed to getting it right on these important investigations.”

Overall, crimes against persons increased by 27.15%, and crimes against property increased by 12.78%. To address this issue, Chief Harrison created a Violent Crimes Task Force, comprised of 16 officers, that focuses on crime hot spots across the city each night. These proactive patrols provide visibility to help prevent crimes, and allow officers to respond more quickly to crimes in crime hot spots.

“The Task Force has been very effective, and I credit the brave men and women that work in this unit with making important arrests in a string of armed robberies in New Orleans East, Uptown, and the French Quarter,” said Harrison.

To continue to flex the manpower of the NOPD, Chief Harrison has moved 25 officers from administrative duties to street patrols. He has also successfully enhanced the NOPD Reserve Unit, recruiting more than 100 former police officers to volunteer to assist with street patrols.

In 2015, the NOPD will continue its aggressive recruitment campaign. Two classes of NOPD recruits are currently in training at the Academy.

The City and the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation recently launched a new phase of the “Get Behind the Badge” recruitment campaign with a Super Bowl ad, which can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/ihlKpsCDwNA

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