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New Orleans reaches dubious mark of 100 homicides so far in 2023

That total is actually down from 2022, but higher than the few years before that.

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans has passed 100 homicides in 2023.

Sunday evening into Monday morning, three people were killed and one person was injured in four separate shootings.

“This is an absolute crisis,” City Council VP, Helena Moreno said on the Eyewitness Morning News Monday. “This needs to be treated with urgency, every day and not necessarily a task force that meets every week.”

According to the Metropolitan Crime Commission, New Orleans has had at least 101 homicides this year. That number is down compared to 110 this time last year, but it is still up from years prior.

“It’s like saying the Saints lost 14 games last year, but this year they only lost 13. That’s not very reassuring to the hundreds of people who have been shot and their family members killed,” former NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas said.

Serpas points out there’s also a longer wait time for police and more gone on arrivals (police arrive to a scene with nobody there) this year, indicating that crime is not down.

Serpas gave us a few ways New Orleans can work to drop the crime numbers, specifically homicides.

“I’ve been long advocating for the police to be given the authority by an action of the city council and mayor to peel off about 20 to 30% for calls of service the police receive that have no police component,” Serpas said. “City Council and the mayor have to give the responses they’ll be taking from police that don’t have a police component, they have to fill that with some other branch of government.”

Serpas says as long as we’re still sending police out on calls that don’t need police, two things happen.

“One, we continue to have a very big footprint in the lives of the people of New Orleans of a criminal justice agency, the police department, when it’s not needed, desired or necessary,"  Serpas said. "And second, we continue to tax a very low-staffed police department to respond to calls which only makes the citizens angry, because it takes so long to get there and then find out there’s nothing the police could’ve done on this call anyway,”

Moreno does have hope one viable solution will work—state police on the interstate.

“I was glad to see Chief Woodfork call in the state police to patrol our interstate. I think that’s going to be a viable solution to at least hopefully, if there’s a significant state police presence, to slow down those interstate shootings. Those shootings are getting innocent people in the crossfires,” Moreno said.

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