by Jesse Muhammad
(FinalCall.com) - During the annual State of the City address at the end of May, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu could not sugarcoat the fact that reducing the violence in the streets continues to be his administration’s greatest challenge.
Mr. Landrieu, the city’s first White mayor elected in more than three decades, unveiled a five-point comprehensive plan titled “NOLA for Life” in hopes of reducing the murder rate. The plan has five objectives: stop the shooting; invest in prevention; promote jobs and opportunity; improve the corruption plagued police department; and get the community involved in the rebuilding of neighborhoods. The first “NOLA for Life” volunteer day will be in July, wherein citizens will be encouraged to take the streets to push the initiative. “The cost of doing nothing is much more severe. The alternative is unacceptable,” said Mr. Landrieu.
According to the FBI, the Crescent City ranks 79th for violent crime rate out of 274 cities, has the 8th most murders of any American city and is number one for murders per person. The city’s average of 241 murders per year has consistently exceeded the national rate. Reports show the murder rate fell more than 27 percent from January through March, compared to the first quarter of 2011. This year there have been at least 77 murders.
To develop this plan, Mr. Landrieu stated that he brought together criminal justice leaders, social service providers, school officials and others. One group interestingly not brought to the table was the New Orleans Peace Keepers. The group was founded three years ago after a young father murdered his two-year-old son because he did not want to pay child support. [Read More]
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