NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Violent crime across New Orleans is up 23% compared to this time last year, New Orleans Police Chief Shaun Ferguson says.
“We continue to see our challenges in homicide, shootings, as well as armed robberies,” says Chief Ferguson.
Shooting incidents alone are up 50%. Over the weekend, five people were shot on Bourbon Street.
Armed robberies are up 15%. Homicides are up 27%, officials say.
Since overtime was reinstated, officers are able to work longer hours and make more arrests, Ferguson says.
“So far this year, we’ve made over 40 arrests for shootings, over 50 arrests in armed robberies as well as 90 gun arrests,” says Ferguson.
Ferguson told the council during a Criminal Justice Committee meeting carjackings and armed robberies are often committed by juveniles. He says while his officers remain engaged, they’re arresting the same people over and over again.
“As a result of low bonds or sometimes with our juveniles, we continue to see ourselves in many instances re-interacting with the same individuals from time to time,” says Ferguson.
Together the NOPD and the D.A. created a “serial organized crime unit” to address violent crimes like armed robberies and shootings.
“In most instances, these kids are being orchestrated by an adult, and we need to do all that we can do to cut the head off the snake because these kids are not operating independently. They’ve got help,” says Councilmember Jay Banks.
Chief Ferguson says even the dynamics of homicides changed in New Orleans.
“It’s not our normal drug transactions or narcotics that’s driving our homicides anymore. There are real stresses out there that’s pushed this homicide rate above normal,” says Ferguson.
There were 66 homicides so far this year, compared to 55 last year. Ferguson says he’s also worried about the summer months when crime typically gets worse. He says his department is working on a plan to address that.
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