Gretna, La., the place where, as Hurricane Katrina’s flood waters stubbornly refused to recede, police stood at the end of the bridge, guns drawn, to block the crowds who were trying to evacuate New Orleans, is the arrest capital of the U.S., Fusion reports.
In 2013, the Gretna police department made 6,566 adult arrests, or a little more than one arrest for every three of Gretna’s roughly 18,000 residents. That’s about 14 times the rate of arrests in the typical U.S. town, according to an analysis of FBI arrest data. In a town that is about one-third African American, two-thirds of those arrested in Gretna are black, an overall rate of roughly eight arrests for every nine black adults.
The number of arrests that Gretna makes could make you assume that Gretna is a dangerous place. In fact, the opposite is the case. In 2013, 49 adult arrests by the Gretna police department were for the serious violent offenses of murder, rape, robbery, or aggravated assault. About a tenth of adult arrests, 652, were for drug violations, putting Gretna near the very top of the U.S. in per-capita drug arrests. Most of the arrests are even less consequential, with 948 arrests for drunkenness or disorderly conduct, and 4,258 arrests in the category of “other offenses,” not significant enough for the FBI to track.This relatively peaceful suburb arrests people at five times the rate of Baltimore.