NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - In the first month of the new year, 74 people were killed or wounded by gunfire. That's an average of two victims every day.
"We know that many of these are between people that knew one another," NOPD Chief Michael Harrison said.
The high numbers are certainly on the NOPD's radar.
"What I can tell you is that we are always doubling down on our efforts and following every single lead. What we need is more leads to come in," Harrison said.
Harrison said witness cooperation is key in solving these murders and shootings, and he said in some cases, even the shooting victims refuse to cooperate with police. He points to Tuesday's shooting outside of Edna Karr High School.
"The victim who survived just a little while did not and would not cooperate with us to tell us anything he knew before he expired. That is some of the challenges we're facing," Harrison said.
Another challenge for the NOPD is preventing the violence.
"We're using every single resource to identify these people who are committing these crimes. We're working with our local, state and federal partners," Harrison said.
When the department started noticing an uptick in armed robberies across New Orleans last year, the NOPD created a task force called the TIGER team, that targets armed robbers.
"We had a similar focus, and we had great success with reducing armed robberies. Now, we are going to do the same thing now with shootings and homicides to apply every tactic to increase our visibility as much as we physically and possibly can through smart policing and deployment," Harrison said.
He said the department is also using overtime to put additional officers on the street. The NOPD's tactics follow a new plan introduced by Mayor Mitch Landrieu to reduce crime.
"This plan includes new investment in technologies such as license plate readers and monitored crime cameras," Landrieu said.
The mayor said cameras will be placed in 20 different crime hot spots around the city. Meanwhile, Chief Harrison believes the continued cooperation among law enforcement agencies will make a difference.