Judge Michael Bagneris, a candidate for Mayor, tonight issued the following statement:
Like other sensible New Orleanians, I am appalled at the city administration's excuse on tonight's news that again dismisses the fact that the gutted police force--from 1600 to 1100 officers--is the reason for our city’s public safety problems. The Mayor arrogantly refuses to accept responsibility and instead blames our people and our community's culture.
As someone who grew up in Desire, I can attest that a poor, violent neighborhood, where there is no consistent police presence, is a killing zone…not because of the culture of the majority of the people who live there, but because of the bullies.
Crime is ravaging our City. Crime is up in New Orleans because police manpower is down. And, criminals know it. You can’t be nice with the bad guys.
The District Attorney and other crime fighters estimate there are 200 individuals who are terrorizing this community. 200. The reason we can’t stop them is because there aren’t enough cops. Period.
There has been no Police Academy for nearly four years!
Crime cameras don’t deter crime; police officers do! Addressing the crime problem will require:
(1) immediately increasing the number of police officers, and
(2) developing a long-range plan to prevent a drastic reduction in the number of officers.
Stop blaming and take the steps to change! We can take those steps RIGHT NOW.