A month after finger-pointing by city officials concerned by New Orleans’ rapidly rising murder count, the mayor, district attorney, and police chief have announced plans for a new information-tracking tool in the district attorney’s office, says the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The system isresembles COMSTAT, a crime statistics accountability program used by the Police Department; it would be financed by business and philanthropic organizations in New Orleans. “The system will focus all the resources of the District Attorney’s office on building effective cases against the guilty, especially those who have committed heinous, violent crimes,” says a letter to potential donors from Mayor Ray Nagin, District Attorney Eddie Jordan, and Police Chief Eddie Compass. “It will do this by improving coordination between prosecutors and police investigators on a case-by-case basis.” The officials “pledge to work together to bring all parts of the criminal justice system together.”
Last month, when the city recorded nine shooting deaths in under 28 hours, Nagin criticized the district attorney’s office and criminal court judges for not keeping violent crime suspects behind bars. Through last night, New Orleans had 145 murders this year, compared with 157 last year. “Our criminal justice system is not getting it done,” Nagin said. Jordan said better communication is needed and criticized police for “sporadic participation” at conferences where prosecutors decide what charges to pursue.