Departing FBI N.O. chief: Crime at epidemic level in city

Before he leaves next week, he talked about some of the challenges the city and state face when it comes to fighting crime.

NEW ORLEANS - After two years as the head of the FBI Field Division in New Orleans, Jeffrey Sallet is going to his next appointment to run the Chicago Division.

Before he leaves next week, he talked about some of the challenges the city and state face when it comes to fighting crime.

Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Sallet says when it comes to public corruption, Louisiana is second to none.

"We are third in open and active public corruption cases in the entire FBI, and we're the 21st largest field office. So per capita, we have more corruption investigations than any other office in the entire country," said Sallet.

The greatest risk for future public corruption is past corruption.

"Citizens of Louisiana should expect and demand honest government. The government works for you. You don't work for the government," he said. 

On violent crime, his observation is the city is at a crisis point.

"The city of New Orleans is an incredible place; culture, diversity, food, a place that people really want to come. It's a world class city and the crime is, unfortunately, at a epidemic and world class level," he said. 

The demand for drugs partially fuels that. While he says everyone should contribute to better education and job opportunities, there is another factor making the work of police officers more difficult and dangerous.

"While the NOPD do an incredible job based on their amount of folks that they have, they are certainly challenged by their lack of numbers right now. So the department is substantially down from where it should be," Sallet explained. 

He says task force partnerships work to combat human trafficking, saving women and arresting the money makers behind it. They see spikes with all of the city's big events.

"That brings in tourists. Tourists spike demand for, from the human trafficking side, on the sex trafficking side." 

While the Joint Terrorism Task Force works constantly to prevent attacks, every citizen needs to watch and report anything suspicious, because terrorism can happen in any city.

Just like the rest of us, even the head of the FBI New Orleans Division gets scam calls from people posing as someone from Microsoft Windows.

"And he said that he's stealing money out of somebody's account right now and was bragging about his proficiency in stealing."

The scammer had no idea he had called the personal cell phone of a top FBI agent.

Sallet says the main thing he'll miss in New Orleans are the men and women in the field office who are smart, work hard, are very experienced, and come to work with a smile every day.

To read more about Jeffrey Sallet's history with the FBI click here

 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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