A program in which the New Orleans Police Department calls back victims of crime to ask whether the case was handled properly by officers will be expanded and upgraded, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The police department’s compliance section already calls people randomly to check on whether police properly handled selected incidents. New Superintendent Ronal Serpas will expand that process, bringing in the city inspector general to help devise a solid method for picking the reports and calls for service that police will follow up on.
The supervisors who make the calls will read the investigating officers’ reports to victims, asking whether the details match their memory of what happened. They will follow up with six or seven questions about the officers’ performance, he said. “We will start calling back people in New Orleans, everyday: ‘I’ve got a police report in my hand. Is this what you said?'” Serpas said. The compliance unit is already calling people in cases where the police decide they don’t need to write a report because no crime was committed. During his recent tenure as Nashville police chief, officers called back victims in 4,000 cases over a five-year period. One New Orleans problem has been a perception by some residents that while official statistics show a decrease in crime in recent years, those numbers don’t reflect reality.