crime

A New Orleans school board member faces a federal charge in an alleged bribery scheme.

A couple of years ago, law enforcement in Baton Rouge decided to try a different approach to tackling violent crime.

The Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination Project — or BRAVE — is premised by the idea that social influence can be a driver for amplifying or suppressing criminal behavior. That’s how Tracey Rizzuto — psychologist, researcher, and associate professor at LSU — got drawn into it.

She’s aiding the BRAVE project with social network analysis. And she’s going to be talking about her work tomorrow at TEDxLSU.


Jason Saul / WWNO

New Orleans police started accepting applications Monday from former officers interested in working in the reserve unit. The move is aimed at backing up the department while it adds more full-time officers to the force depleted since Hurricane Katrina.

Jason Saul / WWNO

New Orleans is a city of desperate violence, but those neighborhoods most plagued by a wanton disregard for life — parts of Central City, say, or New Orleans East — seem a world away from the neon and wrought iron of the French Quarter.

However, a near-daily litany of burglaries, batteries and robberies filling the police blotter now has many French Quarter locals scared, and they are sharing that fear with visitors.

State Police Extending New Orleans Duty

Jan 29, 2015

State troopers will be on duty in New Orleans through May.

The New Orleans Advocate reports the move to stay beyond Mardi Gras is designed to ease public concerns about crime in the city.

State troopers will back up the short-staffed New Orleans Police Department through special events.

Colonel Mike Edmonson says the assignment will be reviewed when it’s completed to decide if the extra troopers will stay.

He says record crowds are expected for the French Quarter Festival and Jazz Fest.

A historic New Orleans cemetery will soon be off-limits to tourists on their own because of repeated tomb vandalism.

Starting in March, entry to St. Louis Cemetery Number One will be restricted to relatives of those buried there. Others must be accompanied by a tour guide registered with the Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, which owns the property.

That cemetery may have started the city's tradition of above-ground crypts

In late 2012, someone covered the reputed tomb of voodoo priestess Marie Laveau with pink paint.

Skylar Primm / Flickr

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says a female whooping crane released about a year ago has been shot in Vermilion Parish and had to be put to death.

Spokesman Adam Einck said Wednesday there's a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the conviction of whoever shot the endangered bird.

He says the bird was found Nov. 2 with an apparent bullet wound in her upper left leg and was euthanized the next day at the Louisiana State University veterinary school.

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.

Residents and businesses in the French Quarter will be holding a rally Tuesday in Jackson Square, calling for more police protection. 

They want action by Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Councilwoman Nadine Ramsey and New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison.

Landrieu asked Governor Bobby Jindal on Friday to send troopers to support the city while it works to fill vacancies in police department ranks.

The head of state police tells Nola.com/The Times-Picayune that option would leave other parts of the state short-handed.

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.

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