City unveils 50-year plan to reduce gun violence in New Orleans

Mayor Cantrell announces Gun Violence Task Force

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - New Orleans officials say they want to make a generational change in reducing gun violence and Mayor Latoya Cantrell unveiled a 50-year plan Tuesday (Aug. 20), that includes studying the issue and tapping into other city resources.

So far this year, 75 murders have been reported in New Orleans, compared to 106 at the same time in 2018. According to New Orleans police, homicides are down by 31 percent this year.

But, Cantrell said that is not enough and now the city has a new plan to tackle gun violence even more moving forward.

“We have all been losing, and enough is enough," She said. "We no longer want to lose, we want to win by winning lives.”

The mayor and members of the first-ever Gun Violence Reduction Task Force said they are rolling out what they call a “generational strategy," with a 50-year goal to make New Orleans a safer place to live.

Josh Cox, director of strategic initiatives, said the plan does more than just addressing gun violence as a primarily criminal issue.

“Rigorously measuring the outcomes and the effects of those interventions, and so in taking a public health approach, we hope over the long term -- because this isn’t a short term solution this is a generational approach -- we hope over the long term to figure out exactly what works and why," Cox said.

While NOPD reported solving 61 percent of murders, commander Regina Williams said the department’s number one priority is reducing gun violence.

“My team and I are committed to solving as many homicide cases as possible and as quickly we can, because we know doing that, we know we are preventing more homicides," Williams said. "It shows that everyday, we are going out in the community.”

In addition, the city said it will start collecting scientific data and research in an attempt to study the problem long term.

“One is really knowing where it’s happening in your city, in your community, not only where it’s happening, but what are the existing conditions, or the environmental conditions in that neighborhood," Cantrell explained. “Whether you’ve experienced gun violence directly or indirectly, we are all impacted.”

The mayor said she wanted a plan that would make a difference not just in the short term, but one that would outlast her tenure, and save lives for years to come. Cantrell added that the city wants to make public health interventions that data shows are effective.

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