Crime in New Orleans – The Feb 2008 Crime Resolution
Posted on Mar 19, 2008 in Local Issues, NOPD
Last month, the latest crime statistics for 2007 were released by the NOLA Police, and the national media jumped right on it.
Seems the stats showed a 25% jump in violent crime over the past year.
Lotsa Bank Robberies
New Orleans CityBusiness reports on a wave of bank robberies in the local area — 6 banks have been robbed in less than two weeks (February 27 – March 11), and we’ve already had 14 bank robberies this year, already past the halfway number of last year’s total (26).
Here’s the skinny on the bank robberies — banks just don’t carry cash like they used to do, back in the Bonnie and Clyde days: most of these guys leave with a few thousand dollars at best …. Those armored car robberies, well, that’s another story.
Steady Rate in Homicides
NOLA.COM and the Times-Picayne are tracking all New Orleans murders as they move through the criminal justice system. Just go to the map, click on the little red dot, and read the details of the case, beginning with the date of the homicide, its location, and the name of the victim. They’ve done this for 2007 and 2008.
Surfing through their map entries, you find that so far this year, a lot of young men have died from gunshot wounds. This appears to go with the reports of increased gang activity, as well as illegal drug traffic in the local area.
For 2008 Homicide Tracking:
Big Increase in Armed Robberies, Rapes, and Assaults
According to the stats released last month by the NOLA Police, armed robberies were up 25%, rapes 30%, and assaults 33%. Lots of violent crime increases here.
The February 21, 2008 Resolution
Last month, the City Council passed a resolution that asks judges in the Traffic and Municipal Courts to issue standing orders allowing police officers to forego the prior requirement of making custodial arrests in response to an attachment for a minor traffic offense or other non-violent misdemeanor. (Each of these arrests takes cops off the streets for 1-2 hours, while the offender isn’t seen as a violent threat to the community at large.)
Instead, the police officer would issue a summons, requiring the offender to appear in court on a certain date and time. If he fails to obey the summons, then he would be arrested. (Getting a second bite at the apple in some cases.)
Under the terms of the resolution, police would be freed to pursue those involved in offenses of violence, illegal weapons, and driving under the influence.
With this resolution, the City Council hopes to free lots of police department time and money toward the fight against serious crime in the New Orleans area. (Crime Commission stats show that half of the arrests made last year were for municipal or traffic offenses.) The courts and the state legislature have to agree.
It’s good news for those pulled over for traffic violations: they will be able to heave a big sigh of relief that they aren’t going to be cuffed and hauled downtown — at least until these Big Crime Statistics get hammered down.
Word to the wise: get a summons, call your lawyer. Don’t ignore any allegation that you’ve violated the law, no matter how small. Don’t let this Resolution give you the idea that a nonviolent offense can be ignored in NOLA … that’s just asking for trouble.
For More Information:
USA Today, 02/06/08 Article
NOLA.COM 02/2008 Articles
New Orleans City Council Resolution R0890