NEW ORLEANS - On the heels of a deadly week in New Orleans the city's police department rolled out a new crime prevention strategy Friday. Officers began increased street patrols on foot as part of a plan called "Mission 2." They knocked on doors, handed out information, and talked to neighbors.
"I will do my part, I just want us to work together," Gentilly resident Stephanie Mckee told one of the officers from her doorstep.
Mckee said it's a step in the right direction after a string of violence in the city, eleven shootings in the past week.
"It's depressing to be perfectly honest with you. It's really disappointing because I think as a community we can and should do better," Mckee said.
Mckee lives near Stallings Park, where 32-year-old Ali Robinson was found shot to death last April.
"I think the thing that's missing for us as a community is that we've lost that face-to-face contact. It's the thing that makes us human to each other, and it's the thing that we're missing. And that's the place that I would definitely get behind the police department on," she noted.
Police say they're increasing foot patrols in three districts each Friday and Saturday. Officers who normally work at NOPD Headquarters are being reassigned to police patrol districts on those days, which frees up officers usually assigned to "radio call duty" to walk around the neighborhoods.
Officers began Mission 2 in the 1st, 8th and 5th districts but the NOPD will select the three districts each week based on crime trends.
"It's proven that people have already come forward when officers knock on their door," said Commander Bobby Norton. "Sometimes they don't want to call, sometimes they don't want to call Crimestoppers."
Norton said the effort involves about nine sergeants and 33 officers each Friday and Saturday from 11:35 a.m. - 8 p.m., which he said is double to triple the foot patrols they normally conduct on a daily basis.
"This is absolutely the most important thing and it's gonna build rapport in the community," said Norton.
The department said Mission 2 will cost no overtime expenses since the officers are being reassigned to make the increased foot patrols possible.