More than 100 New Orleans residents, religious leaders, and law enforcement officers gathered yesterday to discuss efforts to curb crime, particularly the city’s towering murder rate, says the New Orleans Times-Picayune. It was the first time that Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas appeared together in public since news broke of an off-duty police department detail that was paid to review traffic violations under a program overseen by the city’s Public Works Department.
Landrieu asked Serpas to deliver to him by Sunday a plan to reform the detail system. Serpas didn’t address that issue, focusing instead to his efforts to use technology to track crime and dispatch police officers to curb murders. “We’ve never used any science to figure out where to put police officers,” he says. “Officers have always been scattered across the map because we’ve always done it that way.” That model will change to one designed to direct officers to crime hot spots, he says.