Treme residents face spate of car vandalism; NOPD boosts force amid crime spike
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Tania Dall awoke in her Treme residence on Friday morning (Nov. 17), ready for a work meeting downtown. However, a glance outside revealed her Jeep SUV surrounded by broken glass. Rushing out, she discovered the windows of both her vehicles shattered. Similarly, around a dozen neighbors near Ursuline and Salcedo Streets faced the same predicament.
“I started looking down the block and saw neighbors were out looking at all the damage to their property,” Dall said.
About a dozen homes on Ursuline and Salcedo Street had their parked cars smashed into overnight. NOPD says no police reports were filed at the time of this incident.
Richard Richardson, a local, expressed frustration at repeatedly cleaning up glass from similar incidents. He highlighted a recurring pattern of property crime in the area, especially during school holidays.
“My car was broken into last Christmas break. My car was stolen on Labor Day break and now it’s Thanksgiving,” Richardson said. “I had to spend $1,500 in the past year just getting the cars repaired.”
And while the New Orleans City Council crime dashboard lists car burglaries and other property crimes declining compared to this time last year, some of the neighbors of the recent car break-ins say they are fed up that they are now the latest victims.
“It’s like Russian roulette. Is there going to be a carjacking? Is my car going to be broken into? Property taxes are going up. home insurance is going up. We all want to be a part of the community and live here,” Dall said. “A lot is done to protect tourism but what about all the people that live, work, play and want to be a fabric of this community.”
As neighbors were starting their Friday morning dealing with the aftermath of the break-ins, the New Orleans Police Department welcomed its first lateral academy class in 25 years.
Officer Pierce Henderson joins the NOPD from the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office. Officer William Roniger served with the St. Tammany and Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Offices, and Officer Jane Morrison, originally from Illinois, served with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office.
This week, the NOPD also welcomed two former NOPD officers back to the department.
“Having more officers impacts crime it also impacts our ability to serve them well,” NOPD Superintendent Anne Kirkpatrick said.
NOPD Supt. Kirkpatrick believes the solution to deterring crime in New Orleans is by hiring more officers, especially ones with law enforcement experience so that the wait between them signing up with the NOPD and patrolling the streets is minimal.
“When we hire new recruits, from the point of the time they apply its about a one year process of getting them onboarded. Then they got to go to a six month police academy and then they have to go to (field training officers). So you don’t have a fully trained officer for a little more than a year,” Kirkpatrick said. “Lateral hires, they are able to be by themselves independently in three months. That is why it’s a good choice for an organization to go with a lateral.”
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