When confronted with data that claim New Orleans is a singularly dangerous place, Police Superintendent Warren Riley shows himself to be a “No, we can’t” kinda guy, says New Orleans Times-Picayune editorial writer Jarvis DeBerry. At a press conference this week after CQ Press said the city had the nation’s highest crime rate, the police chief didn’t have a suggestion — not a single one — for what the Police Department could do to make the city safer, DeBerry says.
Rather than say what he can do to make the department better, Riley focused on the apparently flawed methodology that CQ Press used to come to its conclusion that New Orleans is the most crime-plagued city. The publication used a method that gives crimes such as simple theft similar weight to violent crimes such as rapes, armed robberies, and murder. For that reason the FBI determined in 2004 that such a methodology was faulty. A spokesman for the publication says that even if CQ Press had used the population figures most flattering to the city, New Orleans would still be No. 1 in crime, would still be many bloodied, bruised, and dead bodies ahead of No. 2.