Mom credits private security for saving son’s life after shooting in New Orleans
“We drove down Paris where I knew he would be walking, and I saw these blue lights, and I immediately knew it was him.”
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Some New Orleans neighbors are increasingly looking to private security companies to act as a deterrent to crime, especially more minor crimes like burglaries or shoplifting. These security companies can act as a force multiplier for a depleted NOPD struggling with manpower.
FOX 8 spoke with Chad Perez, the CEO of Pinnacle Security, which operates in security districts including the Garden District, Lake Terrace, Lakeshore and the Downtown Development District.
“Everybody knows the state of safety and security in the City of New Orleans, in particular, right now,” Perez said. “The residents that may be calling [our security officers] traditionally may have called the police in that same situation, but maybe calling them because they’re not sure they’re going to get a response from NOPD.”
As NOPD works to restructure, bringing on a new consultant and reassigning certain officers from non-patrol duty to patrol duty, Perez said companies like Pinnacle can support NOPD officers.
“People call us for quality of life issues, people call us for suspicious persons in their neighborhood, people call us cause they see break-ins occurring,” he said. “A lot of times we’re there first because we’re in the neighborhood. That’s the only thing we’re dedicated to.”
Recently, Pinnacle was first on the scene of a late August shooting and robbery in Lake Terrace on Paris Avenue.
FOX 8 spoke with the mother of the victim in the shooting, who wishes not to be identified pending an ongoing investigation.
“We drove down Paris where I knew he would be walking, and I saw these blue lights, and I immediately knew it was him,” said the woman, who described her son as a determined young man. He remains hospitalized, with little chance of walking again, she said.
“Your life flashes before you. You can’t believe that something so tragic could happen in the blink of an eye,” she said.
Her son, a 24-year-old engineering student at the University of New Orleans, was intubated at first but eventually came off. Still, she said his life is changed forever.
“That they could get in a car and decide to just mow somebody down and alter their life because, what, they have nothing better to do on a Saturday night? It’s mindboggling,” she said.
She said the investigation into her son’s shooting and robbery is still ongoing, but she’s hoping for an arrest soon.
A Pinnacle Security officer was nearby and was able to not only capture the suspect(s) on dashcam video, but render aid to her son in his time of need.
“If Pinnacle Security had not been parked less than a block away and witnessed the event, my son would not be here today,” she said.
“A lot of times we’re there first because we’re in the neighborhood. That’s the only thing we’re dedicated to,” Perez said. “The individual today is alive, we believe it’s because of the quick action and response of our security officer that was there, that the suspects noticed and fled.”
Perez said his security officers act as a deterrent in the neighborhoods they serve, with officers assigned to a specific district, working the streets and interacting with business owners and residents.
“What I believe this could be, and this should be, is more eyes and ears out there for the New Orleans Police Department,” he said. “If done the right way, in coordination, it could be a huge force multiplier for the police department.”
“If we’re aware of, let’s say, a red truck that’s committing armed robberies. Those officers can be on the lookout for that red truck, and if they can see it, they can follow it just like a citizen would,” Perez continued. “But gain more information and notify the NOPD.”
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