On Wednesday evening, Governor-Elect Jeff Landry announced one of the first moves of his administration after his Jan. 8 inauguration: cracking down on New Orleans crime. While this comes as no surprise as Landry has always been a staunch advocate of accountability down south, his new partnership is. Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams, a progressive Democrat and political foe of Landry’s, will take on a bigger role in prosecuting crimes in the Crescent City under the attorney general’s office.
At the press conference on the field of the Caesars Superdome, Landry said that his administration will have Attorney General-elect Liz Murrill start prosecuting defendants arrested in Orleans Parish as a result of Louisiana State Police investigations. Landry also used the press-conference to announce his new State Police chief: Major Robert Hodges, a 28-year agency veteran.
As local leaders come to terms with the new reality of Landry’s leadership, it has become clear that New Orleans will remain the focus of criminal justice reform for this new administration.
"He knows that the economic health, the public health, the public safety of New Orleans is crucial to the entire state," Williams told reporters. "I'm here today to stand with him and to stand with the new Attorney General to make it abundantly clear that partnerships have to become the norm, not the exception."
"You look around the country, you don't often see Republicans and Democrats sitting down to solve the toughest problems," Williams added. "And that's what we've been doing, focusing on crime in the city of New Orleans."
Though there was previous tension between Landry and city leaders due to a “lack of action on their part to curb violent crime”, according to Landry, the two officials announced their new “partnership” on Wednesday. Along with Murrill’s office handling the prosecution of State Police police cases in Orleans Parish, Landry said more state troopers could be dispatched to the city, though he declined to provide specifics.
“This new partnership will assist in restoring the rule of law to this city, and providing victims the justice they deserve,” Landry said.