Last night was another summer evening filled with violence on the streets of the nation’s Murder Capital. This time, the victim was a precious 13-month old girl, Londyn Samuels, killed by two thugs in the violent Central City area. The child’s babysitter was also shot in the back and is in critical condition in a local hospital.
In New Orleans, it is typical for people to be routinely killed in the city’s dangerous neighborhoods. What is unusual about some of the recent tragedies is that the victims are very young, like Londyn Samuels, who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
In the Big Easy, while the good times roll for millions of tourists, the tragedies occur all too often for the city’s poor residents. The tourists are mostly contained in the relatively safe confines of the French Quarter, but in other areas, crime is rampant.
Residents of Central City are demanding more police presence, but there are just not enough police to provide adequate manpower. The force is being depleted by a rapid attrition rate that is decimating an already understaffed force.
Today, there are approximately 1,200 officers in the NOPD, more than 500 less than the department’s peak strength of 1,700 policemen. With fewer officers, the criminals are having a field day on the violent streets of New Orleans.
When police are able to apprehend a criminal, chances are good that the thugs will soon be back on the streets of New Orleans. The revolving door criminal justice system is a major reason why New Orleans is the Murder Capital of the nation.
What can the good law abiding people of New Orleans do to combat this problem? If they decide to stay in New Orleans, residents need to learn how to defend themselves from potential attack. The average police response time to a 911 call is 16 minutes. In that amount of time, an entire family can be killed and the murderer can make a clean getaway. Therefore, it is time for law abiding citizens to take action and use some effective tools like interior and exterior lighting, pepper spray and firearms to enhance their security. Sadly, if citizens continue to depend solely on the police, they may wind up dead.
Along with the FBI ranking as the Murder Capital of the nation, Business Insider ranks New Orleans as the 5th most dangerous city in the country. According to the Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice, New Orleans is the 17th most dangerous city in the world, and the first U.S. city to appear on a list littered with drug cartel controlled cities in Central and South America.
If corrective action is not taken soon, New Orleans may join another ignoble list, cities in bankruptcy. All of the progress that New Orleans has enjoyed in tourism, healthcare and other industries may evaporate if crime continues to plague the Crescent City.
People need to feel safe to live, conduct business and visit New Orleans. Our entire economy is threatened by this problem. To deal with this crisis, the National Guard should be deployed immediately to assist the decimated NOPD in patrolling the dangerous streets of New Orleans.
New Orleans politicians need to make improving the criminal justice system their number one priority. It will be hard for Mayor Mitch Landrieu and his team to ask the voters of New Orleans next February for another term in office if the murder problem is not aggressively addressed. Of all the Mayor’s duties, there is no more important job than providing for the public’s safety. Clearly, no one is succeeding if 13 month old babies are being killed.