August 12, 2007

Chief Riley's Crime Update

At the Crime Prevention Roundtable II yesterday, Police Superintendent Warren Riley gave the small audience an NOPD update.

Here are the highlights of his highlights, with a few quotes. I took these from an audio recording I made, so you may cite the figures and quotes safely. I worked seven years at a TV news station, so I know a thing or two about accurate reporting. I also assume the Roundtable has been or will be broadcast on public access television, so you can check me.

The sound quality of my recordings is not broadcast quality. Otherwise, I would post the audio. But, if you really want to hear it, you can email me (email address is in the sidebar) and I will send it to you.

Police Superintendent Warren Riley’s Update at the Crime Prevention Roundtable II

In-car camera system – 70 cameras have been installed out of 109

Attrition rate – lost 500 police officers after the storm; were losing 18-19 police officers a month; two weeks ago, largest recruit class in NOPD history started; 160-170 officers are back on the streets; right now, losing about 11 officers a month; before Katrina, losing 10 officers a month; “We’re beginning to stabilize that situation.”

Check points – “have been highly effective”; placed in high crime areas and highly trafficked areas where drugs come in; “It’s been successful in us taking over 70 hardcore wanted subjects off the streets of New Orleans.”; “Our largest drug bust this year came from a traffic check point.”; 14 officers on check points

Statistics for 2007 – will be released next week comparing last six months of 2006 and 2007; “And one thing that we have made some progress in, but we still certainly have a long way to go, is that you will see that our murder rate has dropped by 8.75%.”

Training – officers have been trained in what the D.A. wants; D.A.s went through same training

10-point plan with D.A. – meet every two weeks with D.A. staff

Crime Lab – “Our crime lab is now up and running.”; at UNO; about 40% of equipment is in; have run some drug and ballistics tests

Evidence Room – two weeks ago signed a new lease on a property to store evidence

New interoperable radio system – “We should never ever have a problem handling an emergency with the radio system like we had during Katrina.”

Neighborhood Watch organizations – 155 total; 36 are new

NONPAC meetings – well attended by citizens

Focus on youth – over 500 kids in Cops for Kids summer program

Focus on domestic violence – Domestic Violence Unit went from 4 to 7 officers

Mental illness
– trained over 125 officers to deal with mental illness; NOPD handles 200 mental illness transports a month to hospitals

Schools – officers at certain schools at bus stops; officers will check places where truants hang out; working with RSD Superintendent Paul Vallas to open a truancy center; “Last year, truants were brought back to the schools. It is not a successful way to deal with truants because, basically, they go back to school and they leave out again as soon as we leave.”

Partnership with federal government – since February, 85 cases have been turned over to the U.S. attorneys office; “Of those 85, 75 have been indicted, 40 have been convicted.”

Reaching out to Hispanic community
– handing out pamphlets (I assume in Spanish, although Riley did not specify); identifying and using officers that speak Spanish; “Right now Los Angeles has a major gang war between the Hispanic community and the African-American community. A very violent situation. We’re trying to get ahead of that.”

Sex Crime Unit – located 912 out of 1350 that were registered pre-Katrina

New Crime Mapping Tool on website – info goes back to Jan 2005; some information is on it within 24 hours; every crime is reported within ten days

RAND study on officer retention – adopted recommendations; “The New Orleans Police Department is now the highest paid police department in the state. That has a lot to do with our highest recruit class ever that we started two weeks ago. That has a lot to do with our attrition rate dropping from 18 to 11 a month. And, within that 11 a month, 5 or 6 are retiring because they have 28, 29, 30 years on. But they are no longer just leaving for other departments.”

Working with juvenile court – Judge David Bell and the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative

$6.6 million from the State Appropriations Committee – will begin ordering equipment over the next couple of weeks
Commentary to come later.

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