NEW ORLEANS - Eddie Goodrich is lucky to be alive.
“I was shot in the shoulder. I still do have the bullet in me,” said Goodrich.
A robber shot Goodrich last month inside Dat Dog, where he serves as general manager. The bullet came within inches of killing him.
“Where it hit, and where it ended up is nothing short than a miracle,” said Goodrich.
He spoke to the media for the first time Friday in an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News.
The NOPD arrested the man suspected of shooting Goodrich within days of the crime.
Now, neighborhood leaders are looking into private security patrols for the area. They've been researching the idea since October, and presented details to the community this week.
“Having that private 24/7 security detail is one more set of eyes on the neighborhood that is an immediate liaison to the NOPD,” said Kellie Grengs, volunteer board member for the New Freret.
The organization estimates it will cost property owners roughly $300 annually per parcel.
Some residents believe it’s a good idea, but can’t afford the extra cost.
“I don't make money, I make minimum wage, and like I said, they might have to do a little more investigation and some more meetings on it,” said Edward Young, a lifelong resident of the neighborhood.
If neighbors approve the Freret Security District, it would become one of roughly 30 in the city in which property owners pay extra for private protection. Proponents say it's an extra layer of support for an understaffed NOPD.
“The city in general does not have enough NOPD and we all know that. We're all aware. So what's the solution? We can yell at the NOPD, we can yell at the city administration but ultimately, until they train more recruits and actually get them on the street, this is the reality,” said Grengs.
"The New Orleans Police Department makes the most out of the budget that it is allocated. We encourage the public to keep working with us, because together, we are starting to make a difference," said NOPD spokeswoman Remi Braden in a statement.
Meanwhile, Goodrich believes extra patrols can help deter other crimes.
“The NOPD, I think, is doing a phenomenal job with everything that's happened in the past, they're spot on,” said Goodrich. “They're always here. They're always patrolling the neighborhood. I just think a little bit extra is not going to hurt.”
The New Freret hopes neighbors will be able to vote on the issue this fall.
Grengs said Rep. Neil Abramson, D- New Orleans, plans to sponsor a bill to put the security district on the ballot for area residents.
Meanwhile, the NOPD is slated to hire two new recruit classes this year.