Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 10:25 am
New Orleans' most visited neighborhood rarely sees the type of violent crime that plagues other parts of the city. Recently, several high-profile robberies have rattled the region and led to criticism of the police department and the mayor, both of whom are rethinking safety measures.
Over the next few weeks, more and more visitors will roam the city's famous French Quarter, drinks in hand, for Mardi Gras. In less than 2 square miles, the French Quarter combines hotels, restaurants, street performers, and all-night bars with historic homes and tight-knit neighbors.
The New Orleans Police Department set out this year to show that the city's 2013 homicide numbers, the lowest in nearly three decades, were not a fluke.
The New Orleans Advocate reports that as of late Wednesday afternoon, New Orleans had recorded 150 homicides in 2014. That’s a marginal decrease from the 156 counted in 2013. Officials say it is encouraging sign.
Homicides fell 19 percent from 2012 to 2013.
City leaders say they had not aimed to reduce the city's murder rate by any specific percentage in 2014.
French Quarter residents are warning people to walk in groups to avoid violent crime.
They posted signs in the neighborhood that say, “Caution. Walk in Large Groups. We (Heart) NOPD. We Just Need More.”
Police Superintendent Michael Harrison says he’s temporarily assigning an eight-person task force to the Quarter. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says state and federal agencies should contribute more resources. He says the area generates sales tax that benefits the state, and is a national historic district.
A grand jury has indicted an Orleans Parish sheriff's deputy in connection with a stabbing inside Orleans Parish Prison.
The Sheriff's Office said 42-year-old John Dupart was charged with counts of malfeasance in office and principal to aggravated battery. The Sheriff's Office says Dupart did not follow procedures, which resulted in an altercation at the jail.
Dupart is not accused of taking part in any violent act himself. His attorney says the allegation is that Dupart didn't stop a fight.
A LaPlace man has pleaded guilty to fraud in connection with damage claims from the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite's office says 33-year-old Charlie English pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Prosecutors said English worked as a claims adjuster for the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. In September 2010, he began providing fraudulent documentation for people who made phony claims for loss of fishing income. The claims resulted in more than $257,000 in illegal payouts.