2012 was the best year, statistically, for crime in Jefferson Parish since 1974. The encouraging stats were led by the number of murder cases for the year which was down nearly 33% from 2011.
Friday afternoon, Sheriff Newell Normand announced that overall, crime was down nearly 5% from 2011 to 2012 in Jefferson Parish.
He credited programs like his department’s equivalent of community policing and the hard work of his deputies.
“Our officers give a damn,” Normand told reporters. He also touted the cooperation of people in the community who work with deputies to report and solve crimes. Normand specifically mentioned a man who witnessed a bank robbery in Metairie just two weeks before.
“He followed them long enough to get a license plate number and within hours, we’re running search warrants in New Orleans East and we’re making arrests.”
But Normand also said that the parish caught a few breaks in 2012 because many shootings might have become murders had the victims’ injuries been more severe. Normand went so far as to say the ineptness of criminals actually helped improve crime stats for the year.
“The perpetrator set are not sharp shooters,” Normand said. “A number of these aggravated batteries and/or assaults could ultimately be a homicide but for the fact that they’re not good shots.”
Looking to the new year ahead, Normand said his deputies would continue to crack down on synthetic drugs that he says are manufactured and sold solely for profit by people who don’t care about the consequences.
“Those people are the nouveau dregs of society,” he said.
Normand also touted the redevelopment of Fat City as an example of how parish leaders can used zoning and other approaches to help fight crime.