Justice Department Critique of New Orleans Police to be Followed: Serpas


New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas, writing in the New Orleans Times Picayune, says the “fully embraces” new reports on his department from the U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights division and Bureau of Justice Assistance “and will use them in our efforts to continue to transform” the agency. Noting that civil rights division said that “our leadership practices need to be brought up to modern police standards,” Serpas says “we must rebuild our department with this heavy finding on our mind.”

One Justice Department report said that 72 percent of the city’s murders are not random acts. In more than 83 percent of all murders analyzed, a relationship of some type existed between the victim and offender. “This cycle of murder in this city is obnoxious,” Serpas said. He said his 65-point plan to overhaul the police department “is on target,” including homicide review teams, advanced use of crime analysis and crime intelligence, and creating a stronger bond with our community. Serpas said New Orleans has a similar or even lower crime rate to that of similarly sized cities, but “the rate of murder is far higher and unacceptable to us all.”

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