Help from the community, the concentration of more than 100 police officers in an area where half of the city’s murders are taking place, and other tactics are saving lives, says New Orleans Police Superintendent Eddie Compass, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “There’s a perception that murders are on the rise, but to the contrary,” Compass said. From January through March, 58 murders were committed, compared with 75 in the first quarter of 2003: a drop of more than 20 percent.
The improvement started in the third quarter of last year, after the department developed an “aggressive strategy” called Operation Full Court Press, Compass said. The effort included sending more than 120 police officers into a targeted area, where murders now are down by nearly 27 percent. The operation also is responsible for the arrests and indictments of 85 “significant drug dealers” who are in jail awaiting federal trials.