In 9 months, New Orleans surpasses 2021 total number of homicides
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - In the first nine months of 2022, New Orleans has had more homicides than all of last year, according to data from the Metropolitan Crime Commission.
As of Mon., Oct. 3, New Orleans police have investigated 220 homicides since Jan. 1. In 2021, there were 218 homicides.
“It’s part of the reason why the public is demanding that something be done about public safety,” MCC president Rafael Goyeneche said. “Resources are now being prioritized for the police department. Not just pay raises but equipment, supplies, and a totally different attitude.”
“This is a critical moment that we are in right now,” NOPD Supt. Shaun Ferguson said. “It’s not just locally, it’s nationally and we have to reimagine policing as we see it today.”
New Orleans made national headlines in September, becoming the deadliest city per capita in America with a rate of 52 homicides per 100,000 people. Mayor LaToya Cantrell said she did not “embrace” the city’s designation as the nation’s murder capital.
A staggering 454 people have been wounded by gun violence in the city this year.
“The violence is off the charts,” Goyeneche says. “The reason the police consultants are here is to address that.”
“It’s really troubling,” LSU Health Criminologist Peter Scharf says. “And the easy explanations aren’t there anymore; COVID, George Floyd. So how do we explain a 45% jump in murders?”
Scharf says the consequences of having an extremely high murder rate can be devastating to a city and the fear of becoming a victim negatively impacts the lives of so many.
“You’re losing businesses up and down the street,” he says. “People are afraid to go out to shop.”
Kelly Schulz of New Orleans & Co. says the violence makes it harder to sell the city.
“We are getting questions from our customers about what it means for them,” she says. “And it’s not just the headline we are concerned about ... it’s the reality of the situation.”
Chief Ferguson says his department is working to turn the numbers around with redeployment plans and by hiring civilians to answer some calls for service.
“We are about a week into this and I’d like to think that maybe over the next 30-60 days we’ll start to see some of these numbers gradually slow down,” Goyeneche says.
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