NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The newly formed NOPD Violent Crimes Task Force is being credited with helping the department make arrests and remove guns off the streets this weekend.
WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter has details and reaction from one business owner who applauds the effort.
Not even a month after its formation, the NOPD Violent Crimes Task Force is making a difference.
Proactive patrols have helped prevent crimes, and targeted patrols have helped the department respond quickly to crimes in problem areas.
"It’s just having the ability to deploy them where we know we're having hot spots. It gives us the ability to manage that where we weren't able to," 8th District Commander Jeff Walls said.
Just this past weekend, the newly formed task force helped the department make eight arrests and take four guns off the streets in and around the French Quarter area.
People who work in the Central Business District or spend time in the French Quarter, couldn't be happier.
"They’re out there with high visibility. I'm getting neighbors tell me they're seeing them, the officers. They're real thankful to see this."
"This is absolutely something that needs to be done I salute the New Orleans Police Department and the administration for doing that," business owner Franco Valobra said.
Valobra knows first hand how disruptive crime can be.
It was back in October that a well-dressed smooth talking criminal swiped an $18,000 Rolex Daytona from Valobra Jewelry & Antiques, located in the 300 block of Royal Street.
"Anytime you have something stolen, you feel violated."
The good news in his case came a few weeks later. The suspected thief wrote a letter, asking for forgiveness, and returned the watch.
"Got it back. Got it back on display," Valobra said.
Valobra says the work of the NOPD and the violent crimes task force is welcomed and helps to restore the community's faith in the police department.
"I think in the short and definitely in the long hand it will draw great benefits for the city and for the citizens."
The NOPD Violent Crimes Task Force not only patrols the French Quarter area; officers are deployed in other high-crime areas throughout the city.