NOPD addresses weekend crime, FQ residents want more officers on patrol


NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Over the weekend, New Orleans police officers responded to two homicides and as many as six non-fatal shootings that resulted in multiple injuries. While investigations continue, the French Quarter Task Force hopes for change in their neighborhood.

NOPD Supt. Shaun Ferguson called the crime over the weekend “disturbing,” and residents in the French Quarter agree.

They say they’re concerned.

“It’s making us all nervous. It’s making all us residents nervous,” said Bob Simms, French Quarter resident and co-founder of the French Quarter Task Force.

He said the solution is simple when it comes to preventing crime.

“We just do not have enough police officers to patrol the French Quarter and in particular Bourbon Street 24 hours a day 7 days a week,” he said. “And we saw the results of that this weekend.”

Chief Ferguson said that’s no secret. The department is in fact understaffed. He said the arrests are still being made, but what is missing is accountability in the community.

“What we have to do as a society is stop putting this on police,” said Ferguson. “There’s some self-responsibility that must be done in this. Why are we carrying weapons to walk on Bourbon Street and digesting alcohol? That is a deadly… deadly combination.”

Ferguson said officers are seeing more and more people carrying weapons and using them irresponsibly. He said they’re seeing arguments between people end violently, like this weekend on Bourbon St. at Orleans Ave., and nearby on the 1600 block of Iberville St. where a 15-year-old is accused of shooting another 15-year-old to death.

“So again our city has lost another one of its youth to senseless violence,” said Ferguson. “This weekend just put a black eye and dampened the spirits of what we have actually been accomplishing over the last few weeks.”

He said July was the second month in a row the city saw a reduction in homicides and added overall crime in the city was down last week compared to the previous week. But recent events have changed the data.

“We’re already making national news this weekend so we continue on this trend, people are going to not come and that’s not good for the city. It’s not good for the state,” said Simms. “It’s not good for all of us.”

Chief Ferguson said the department is committed to ensuring safety in the city of New Orleans and committed to solving these crimes, but the NOPD needs the public’s help. If anyone has information, call Crimestoppers.

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