NEW ORLEANS, LA—Today, the New Orleans Police Department announced that New Orleans saw a nearly 30 percent drop in murders in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same time frame last year, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report (UCR). The statistics represent a continued downward trend in murder and show that the number of murders in New Orleans is at a historic nearly 30-year low.
“Reducing the number of murders on the streets of our city is a top priority, and we are continuing to make significant progress,” said NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas. “Murder is down to historic levels, we’ve brought over 80 gang indictments through the work of the Multi-Agency Gang Unit and the people of New Orleans are working with the NOPD to identify criminals now more than ever. But we’ve got to keep going. There’s more work to be done.”
New Orleans also saw a decline in the number of burglaries.
Crimes that saw an increase included simple robberies, thefts and armed robberies. There was also an increase in the number of rape cases reported to police in the first quarter of 2014. Last year, 31 sexual assaults were reported in the first quarter of 2013, compared to 51 cases the same time frame this year. That’s an increase of 65%.
Serpas added, “Sexual assaults are among the most heinous crimes and our Sex Crimes Unit has made it a priority to make sure anyone who commits this crime is brought to justice. These statistics continue to show that more victims are coming forward than ever before and that people believe our department can and will get these offenders off the streets.”
“I believe more officers in the community are a big part of the solution, that's why we're doubling down on our efforts to hire more police officers,” said Serpas.
This year, the Mayor and the City Council funded five new recruit classes in the 2014 budget and allocated an additional $300,000 for recruitment efforts. NOPD Recruit Class #170 started training on May 27, 2014.
The NOPD, in collaboration with the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation, is actively recruiting NOPD officers through a campaign called “Get Behind the Badge.” To date, the NOPD has received over 1500 applications. Today, job seekers can apply online for the police department and learn about the entire recruitment process at www.joinnopd.org.