The New Orleans Times Picayune praised “NOLA for Life,” a multifaceted, multi-agency strategy announced by Mayor Mitch Landrieu to reduce the city’s stubborn homicide rate, which is 10 times the national average. NOLA for Life is a combination of new and existing programs that will be overseen by police Superintendent Ronal Serpas, Criminal Justice Commissioner James Carter, and Health Commissioner Karen DeSalvo. It breaks down into five broad categories: Stopping shootings, investing in prevention, promoting jobs, rebuilding neighborhoods, and improving the police department.
The Police Department is expected soon to be under a federal consent decree, the details of which will shape the continued reform of what was a badly broken agency, the newspaper says. Landrieu pointed to a new crop of police recruits, a beefed up homicide unit, the greater use of technology and a new crime lab as signs of the “new NOPD.” The Times Picayune says the “importance of transforming the department cannot be overstated, but taking a holistic approach to crime is smart.” The murder reduction strategy includes efforts like Ceasefire, which uses “violence interrupters” to try to stop shootings before they happen, and Saving Our Sons, which provides mentoring, midnight basketball, and job assistance. It includes conflict resolution programs in schools and a lot maintenance program to fight blight.