The Landrieu administration on Thursday showed off new fire trucks, police units and equipment for the city's first responders. Landrieu says 2017 included major investments in public safety and he says there were major results.
Patrol officers will now be equipped with brand new patrol units to respond in case of a mass shooting. The city purchased 285 new police patrol units, allowing every patrol officer to have a take-home car.
Eighty new crime cameras have already been installed, and 250 more will soon be placed throughout the city. The cameras will be monitored in real time.
NOPD Chief Michael Harrison says murder in 2017 was down by 10 percent compared with 2016. Armed robberies were also down by 19 percent. Shootings were not reduced, but they didn't increase either. The NOPD says 359 people were shot in 2016 compared to 358 victims in 2017.
"We were noticing a spike in non-fatal shootings earlier this year. We doubled down on reducing them and we ended the year almost even. We were up about 73 percent coming out of April, May and June, and we reduced 73 percent to almost even for the year," says Harrison.
The Fire Department was given extra funding in 2017. Twenty-one new fire trucks will replace two-thirds of the fire department's fleet. Chief Tim McConnell says the trucks are more hi-tech than the department has ever seen, and fire fighters will also be equipped better in the new year.
City leaders recognize that there's still a long way to go, but they said they feel the city will be better equipped for public safety in the new year.