City Council releases plan to stop violent crime, breakdowns in criminal justice system

Irina Baranova

The report is based on a series of public hearings held by the council last month to address a sharp increase in violence in the city.

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans city council members released what they are calling a roadmap of changes they hope will prevent, disrupt, and punish violent crime. 

The document comes following a series of public hearings taking a deep dive into what’s driving a troubling spike in gun crimes in the city. 

“We know that the public wants to see action from the city council and proposed plans,” City Council President Helena Moreno said. “That’s what we’ve laid out.” 

Moreno, City Council Vice-President J.P. Morrell and Councilmembers Lesli Harris and Joe Giarrusso authored the crime plan. 

It calls for immediate action across the criminal justice system.  

That includes the courts, district attorney’s office and the police department. 

“Absolutely we want to have 1500 to 1600 officers, but in the meantime, what can the chief do to reorganize the department and be more efficient with 1000 officers,” Moreno said. 

The council report also calls for the NOPD to reinstate the Tactical Intelligence Gathering and Enforcement Response unit. The TIGER unit was credited with reducing crime in the city by arresting the worst of the worst armed robbers and other serial violent offenders. 

Morrell recently took NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson to task for getting rid of the unit. 

“The most notable thing this chief did was disband the TIGER Unit which led to a 150% increase in armed robberies and 100 increase in carjackings,” Morrell said. 

Council members want DA Jason Williams to also charge carjackings as armed robberies increasing maximum sentences. 

And to use Gwen’s Law for domestic violence cases to allow for more informed bail hearings for offenders. 

“We really want the DA to charge at the highest level for violent offenders,” Moreno said. “Violent offenders in this city need to understand that they will be held accountable for their actions.” 

The council members are also pushing for the creation of a new dashboard where the public can see exactly what’s happening within the criminal justice system. 

Among other things, they also pledge to make “significant investments” in the New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD) and other programs for young people. 

Council members said the roadmap is only the beginning and they are committed to building a safer New Orleans. 

 Click here to read the full report.

Click here to report a typo.

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