NEW ORLEANS — We're digging deeper into the proposal to revamp the NOPD, in an effort to put more police officers on the streets.
Investigative reporter Mike Perlstein first broke what was in the proposed plan, and today we got some reaction about a recommendation to possibly temporarily close the second district police station on Broadway.
The recommendations are in a draft of policy changes. They are not etched in stone and still need to be vetted to see if they can be done.
Reaction to the recommendation of a possible temporary closing of the second district police station was strong from Councilman Joe Giarrusso who serves that uptown district.
He gave an exclusive interview Wednesday on the Eyewitness Morning News.
“That's a non-starter for me. I mean let me just be 100 percent clear about that, I don't think shutting down police districts is good,” Giarrusso said.
The recommendation is based on crime data and 911 call volume analysis. The second district station, that's only four years old, would temporarily close. Officers would relocate to districts one and six. This is only if several other recommendations did not increase officers on patrol.
“If we know some of the other districts are failing, then wouldn't you rather be at a nicer facility, create better moral than someplace that isn't?” Giarrusso said.
Donovan Livaccari, the attorney for the Fraternal Order of Police, likes some of the recommendations but thinks this is a massive undertaking that needs to be studied.
“I don't think that this is, that's the kind of decision that anybody makes in 10 days, right? I mean, that's what the consultant spent, 10 days going through all this stuff,” Livaccari said.
His concern is what would be the consequences.
“That the people who live in the second and the sixth district would still be able to receive good service, timely service,” Livaccari said.
For some people, numbers and response time are important.
“I think the response time is definitely a high priority for people, and whether there's a station across the street from my house, or three blocks away, or three miles away, I think it's just a matter of who's filling in those gaps,” one man who lives in the second district said.
“You seldom see police officers out. I think just their presence in the community certainly helps to tamp down crimes,” another man who lives in the second district said.
That's the short-term reaction, others want long-term solutions.
“I'll say about reducing crime, I think the only real solution long term, would be education. So I think we should invest in that,” a man from Gentilly, who was exercising in the second district, and has been a victim of crime said.
“More programs for the youth. That's it, They don't have nothing to do out here right now. So, it's hot, nothing to do,” a rap artist who was working out in the second district said.
Two times we asked both the city and police departments for a reaction to this recommendation, and have not heard back.