NEW ORLEANS -- When criminals are arrested in the city, specialized units of the New Orleans Police Department join forces.
That's what happened Tuesday when the TIGER Unit was deployed to help arrest two armed robbery suspects in New Orleans East.
The TIGER Unit stands for Tactical Intelligence Gathering and Enforcement Response. It’s a group responsible for last night’s raid and also several other high profile arrests in the city.
"You've heard us talk about them many times, A tactical group of investigators who are very skilled, they have made a lot of progress,” New Orleans Police Chief Michael Harrison said.
Specifically, the unit focuses on arresting serial armed robbery suspects. Made up of detectives, tactical officers and members of the special operations division, the NOPD said the group is decreasing the number of armed robbery cases across the city.
"They're the most skilled and professional members of the police department who are also SWAT trained as well,” Harrison said.
Last year armed robberies were down more than 10 percent relative to 2015. There has also been an increase in the solve rate that is currently above the national average for cities of a similar size.
However, the recent drop in armed robberies might be misleading. Armed robberies in 2016 were actually up 30 percent compared to the three year average from 2011 to 2013. Criminal Analyst Jeff Asher said so far, it's hard to track the effect the NOPD task force is having on crime. He said armed robberies also typically fall this time of year.
As the task force continue to carry out raids, crime analysts warn it's too early to determine any positive or negative changes.
The NOPD has said in the past armed robberies are very hard to prevent, so they're focused on solving these cases and holding people accountable.
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