NOPD

New Orleans police have arrested six people in connection with a shooting that killed an 11-year-old girl last year.

Police say all six suspects have been linked to gangs.

Arabian Gayles was shot to death when someone opened fire on her New Orleans home early on the morning of September 2 last year. Another 11-year-old girl and a 38-year-old man were wounded.

New Orleans police chief Michael Harrison and District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro announced the six indictments yesterday.

Kate Richardson / WWNO

On Tuesday morning interim police superintendent Michael Harrison welcomed the latest class of New Orleans Police Department recruits on their first day of training at the police academy. There are 32 recruits in this class. Twenty-two of the cadets are from the New Orleans metro area and seven are from out of state. The class is expected to graduate early next year. 

The New Orleans Inspector General says police are underreporting robberies. The numbers are given to the FBI for its national Uniform Crime Report.

New Orleans is planning to use civilian officers to patrol the French Quarter.

It’s part of a security plan called NOLA PATROL.

The unarmed civilians would handle non-emergency matters. The plan aims to give regular officers the time and ability to better handle serious crimes.

Funding comes from a hotel tax. The plan needs City Council approval.

State police have temporarily assigned 50 officers to the French Quarter, Faubourg Marigny and Bywater in response to the Bourbon Street shooting.

The agency is planning to withdraw them after Labor Day.

New Orleans is still reeling from another spate of violence last weekend, when five people were killed by gunfire and 11 wounded, including two toddlers. The city has launched high-profile campaigns to address gun violence, but a big part of the problem is an acute shortage of police.

Karen Rogers lives in the lower 9th Ward, where a recent drive-by shooting left two people dead and several more wounded. Police say it was drug-related.

"This is not the first time [I've heard gunshots]," says Rogers. "This is the first time to actually see people murdered and shot."

A third man and a woman have been arrested in connection with a drive-by shooting in the Lower 9th Ward that killed two people and injured five.

Two boys and their mother were among the wounded.

New Orleans police say 23-year-old Joseph Nelson III is accused of being one of two gunmen who fired into a group on Aug. 10. Police say 25-year-old Ashley Shorts allegedly helped one of those two avoid detection.

Nelson was booked yesterday with two counts of first-degree murder and five of attempted first-degree murder.

Tyler Gamble / NOPD

The new leader — at least for a while — of the New Orleans Police Department is pledging to continue reforms.

Lt. Michael Harrison is now the interim superintendent, replacing Ronal Serpas, who is retiring to teach at Loyola University.

Harrison told reporters at the new conference announcing his appointment that he’s optimistic the department will continue getting better.

Danny Monteverde / New Orleans Advocate

This story has been updated.

Ronal Serpas, the Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department brought in by Mayor Mitch Landrieu in 2010 as part of a series of sweeping changes to city government in the post-Katrina and post-Nagin eras, announced his retirement at a packed press conference Monday morning.

tonbabydc / flickr.com

The New Orleans Police Department is looking for a new official spokesperson. This Thursday marks the deadline for submitting an application, and the NOPD will hire someone by the end of the month. We spoke with the New Orleans Advocate’s police reporter Danny Monteverde about who the police department is looking for to fill the position.

Quinn Dombrowski / flickr.com

The New Orleans Police Department is looking for a new official spokesperson. As it looks for a new mouthpiece, there’s something the NOPD realizes it’s been missing out on: Twitter.

Danny Monteverde is the police reporter for the New Orleans Advocate. He says the NOPD wants someone who knows how to send a message in under 140 characters.

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