NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Residents in New Orleans East say they want to do their part to tackle juvenile crime in the city.
The Seventh District Commander says it’s an issue plaguing the entire city. Residents wake up to their car windows smashed and their belongings stolen.
Commander Lawrence Dupree says juvenile crime is an epidemic.
“I think we got the message loud and clear. The whole city got the message loud and clear, that it has to stop. It has to stop,” emphasized Commander Dupree. “We can’t arrest our way out of a crime problem.” Dupree said, in a regular anti-crime meeting Wednesday night.
His district is taking a community policing approach. Officers will be more visible, patrolling neighborhoods on foot, on bikes and on horseback. When summertime rolls around, Commander Dupree says he’ll have designated curfew cars to crack down on kids who aren’t home on time. Plus, he says he’s increasing traffic patrols as a deterrent.
“The kids are stealing cars and are traveling by stolen car so we’re out conducting traffic enforcement and not for the sole purpose of issuing citations but as a deterrent,” said Commander Dupree.
Residents in the area say they’re optimistic but more must be done. They say they’re willing to work with officers to tackle juvenile crime and keep their community safe.
“What can we do? How can we help the police or what can the police do to help us?” Said New Orleans East Resident Gloria Lear. “You’re afraid to come home at night because you just don’t know what’s going on in the street.”
New Orleans East native Demi St. Charles says she believes more must be done.
“New Orleans East has never been like this,” said St. Charles.
Commander Dupree says he’s open to ideas from residents. Some volunteered to walk with officers as they patrolled neighborhoods on foot.