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State police joins NOPD to fight violent crime in New Orleans

This year, the operation is picking back up during a more violent time.

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Police Department and Louisiana State Police partnered up again for their second summer of Operation Golden Eagle, aimed at cutting down on crime.

A big part of the operation is increased patrols and visibility in targeted neighborhoods, and where targeted individuals may be. The 12-hour shifts for NOPD officers began June 1.

“We’re gonna follow the data. Where these trouble areas are where we should make sure that there’s a presence, a focused presence,” said NOPD Superintendent Sean Ferguson.

Last summer was the first year for Operation Golden Eagle. In October, Ferguson called it a success. He touted 90 major arrests and four federal indictments.

But this year, the operation is picking back up during a more violent time.

According to Metro Crime Commission statistics, this time last year, New Orleans had 89 homicides and 187 armed robberies.

So far in 2022, 135 people have been killed and 236 armed robberies have been reported.

The constant bloodshed has sparked public hearings by City Council and pressure from the public to disrupt the cycle and take action.

Col. Lamar Davis of Louisiana State Police says this year’s success will be measured in part by how many guns they take off the streets.

“When you look at removing guns off of the street and violent actors and bad actors from the streets, that’s success. That’s making our community safer,” Col. Davis said.

NOPD is losing officers faster than it can recruit, with just around 1,000 officers on the force right now.

With the help of State Police, Ferguson says response times have decreased by 8% since June 1.

“We’ve seen the fruits of our labor already and we’re looking to produce more,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson says no data on this year’s operation will be released until it is complete.

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