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  • Writer's pictureStaff @ LPR

Violent crime plummeting in NOLA so far in 2024

After New Orleans infamously earned the nation’s highest homicide rate in 2022, with a 25% decline the next year, the Crescent City has continued the trend of declining homicide rates in 2024.

As of April 6, murder in Orleans Parish was down from 61 to 42 killings compared to last year, according to NOPD data. This means that the homicide rate has nearly receded to pre-pandemic levels.

Non-fatal shooting victims also have also declined steeply, down from 160 this time last year to 92. Armed robberies plunged 52%, from 162 to 78 reported incidents, and felony rapes ticked down as well, for an 11% decrease.

“Our public safety partners … are embracing what we know is a holistic approach to public safety,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell said at a Friday media briefing to announce $3.3 million in federal funding for criminal justice initiatives in New Orleans. “That’s exactly why we're seeing crime trends go down, and we’re leading the country in that direction.”

The decreasing crime comes as Gov. Jeff Landry and a GOP-dominated legislature have taken critical aim at the justice system in New Orleans.

Landry has pushed the launch of a new State Police troop in the city, while lawmakers have introduced a slew of tough-on-crime bills, pointing to the surge of violence that began in 2020.

Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams credited the improvements in part to technology, touting his office's work with a contractor to mine open-source intelligence to bolster criminal cases.

In a statement, Williams said the evidence culled from social media platforms including Instagram and TikTok has helped to fill in crucial gaps for prosecutors.

“​​This strategy is already helping system partners better deploy our precious resources to where the data tells us will give us the most bang for our buck,” Williams said in a statement.

NOPD officials said that social media analysis has allowed this shrunken force, with only 900 commissioned officers and 47 recruits as of last month, to focus on the more vulnerable areas of the city.

“We are working with our federal and state partners by sharing that information and working together to target violent offenders, getting firearms off the streets, and solving crimes,” the department said in an emailed statement.

Since New Orleans police turned their focus to illegal handguns, some 2,700 concealed handguns were taken off the streets just last year. That, paired with the 35.6% increase of federal gun prosecutions from 2022 to 2023, leaves NOLA PD with a sense of hope that the city is turning its back on this violent chapter of its history.

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