City Council Members Press Ferguson on “Lack of Urgency” Producing Crime Plan

NOPD Chief Shaun Ferguson. Photo courtesy NOPD

On Monday, City Council President Helena Moreno and Vice President JP Morell released a statement pressing New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) Chief Shaun Ferguson on his plan to combat rising crime in New Orleans. On January 20, Ferguson told the Council that a plan was in the works, but he has yet to reveal that plan. A news conference scheduled by Chief Ferguson and Mayor Cantrell for Jan. 27 was cancelled.

“The people of this city need to be assured that the Chief is taking major steps to reduce violence,” said Council President Helena Moreno. “We need a plan now. I am here to support the NOPD, and the Council wants to support NOPD. But no plan was presented on January 20 when the Chief came before the Council, and there’s still no plan. The Council has a long list of action items that will be released this Thursday, but the most important plan we’re missing is the Chief’s.”

Prior to the Council meeting on Jan 20, Chief Ferguson and District Attorney Jason Williams appeared to be at odds on where to place the blame for rising violent crime in New Orleans. Chief Ferguson appeared to place the blame on the NOPD’s low clearance rate and a failure to provide his office with the evidence necessary to properly prosecute offenders.

“…the Chief said from a law enforcement perspective, he’s making arrests and the NOPD’s job ends there, and that’s not the way law enforcement and justice works,” Williams said. He went on to point out that according to data gathered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, NOPD solved only 30 percent of murder cases, 35 percent of armed robberies, and a mere 8 percent of car thefts in 2020. “It is not something to bicker about or have hurt feelings about. It is an accurate diagnosis. That percentage must go up,” Williams said.

Following Williams’ statements, Chief Ferguson said that he prefers to focus on action – however, that so far has not translated into presenting a plan regarding those actions to the City Council or New Orleans residents.

“We’ve spent weeks working with stakeholders across the city to craft a comprehensive plan to deal with the spike in violent crime,” Morrell said. “Everyone has come to the table with solutions, except for Superintendent Ferguson. Two weeks ago, Superintendent Ferguson committed to sharing a plan that this Council could publicly review to tackle this issue. To date, we’ve received no communication. Unfortunately, the Superintendent has time to attend parades but no urgency to produce a plan to be part of implementing the necessary changes to make us safe.”

Help Keep Big Easy Magazine Alive

Hey guys!

Covid-19 is challenging the way we conduct business. As small businesses suffer economic losses, they aren’t able to spend money advertising.

Please donate today to help us sustain local independent journalism and allow us to continue to offer subscription-free coverage of progressive issues.

Thank you,
Scott Ploof
Big Easy Magazine

Share this Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *