With the new year off to a violent start in New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell addressed the city’s crime problem at a press conference on Wednesday.
“We know that this violence impacts all of us. Definitely, close to home, in our neighborhoods and the like, and I say close to home, because I’m not leaving myself out of that equation, it impacts us all,” said Cantrell.
Cantrell said she wanted to take a “comprehensive” response to the city’s violence problem but also promised a “tough on crime” approach. She said it was wrong to focus solely on the New Orleans Police Department, but also expressed confidence in the NOPD overhaul that’s being overseen by private consultants.
Cantrell’s remarks came after particularly dark day. On Tuesday, police officers making a wellness check on Gentilly Boulevard found three people dead in an apparent triple homicide.
The victims appeared to have been in the house for over a week, Cantrell said.
“It shook that community of Gentilly, no doubt, and a close-knit community, so the impacts of the violence that we’re seeing is something that we should not tolerate. I know that the men and women of the New Orleans Police Department continue to be out there and engaged.”
Hours after the grisly discovery in the Fair Grounds area, two people were shot in Little Woods. Hours after that, four people were shot in the Hoffman Triangle area.
New Orleans appears to have ended 2022 as the nation’s most murderous major city for the year.
In December, after the resignation of former Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson, Cantrell appointed Michelle Woodfork as the New Orleans Police Department’s interim chief.
Woodfork oversaw a raft of promotions and new appointments to the NOPD’s top ranks in a ceremony on Tuesday. Asked if she’d been involved in those organizational changes at the NOPD, Cantrell said she was “directly” consulted.
The city has not yet engaged a firm to conduct a search for a new chief, Cantrell said.