In Historic Shift, New Orleans Opens COMSTAT Meetings To Public


A new era in the New Orleans Police Department began this week. New police chief Ronal Serpas opened to the public all district and department-level COMSTAT meetings, weekly stat-heavy sessions in which top brass discuss the latest in neighborhood crime, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The open-door policy is a huge departure for the police department, which, despite distrust among citizens, has long held data and information on crimes close to its vest.

Maj. Bobby Norton, backlit by a wall-mounted monitor that displayed a map dotted with icons depicting reported crimes in one police district, hopes citizens come in for a peek behind the curtain. “As you can see, there is a lot of work that goes into this,” he said. Though members of the media far outnumbered citizens at Tuesday’s meeting, Norton said he hopes the transparency will be a step in restoring confidence in the agency. Each of the seven other police will follow suit. The district sessions are smaller weekly meetings that precede a department-wide COMSTAT meeting, also held each week. That too, under Serpas, is open to the public.

Comments are closed.


You have Free articles left this month.

Want access to all our reporting? Subscribe for unlimited access or login.