NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Officials with the New Orleans Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives announced a new unit geared toward fighting violent crime in New Orleans and the surrounding areas on Wednesday (Nov. 16).

ATF director Steven Dettelbach announced the new program, designed to extend federal crime-fighting resources to local police and sheriff’s departments.

“We are going to catch shooters that are terrorizing these communities that we haven’t been able to catch as quickly as before,” said Dettelbach.

Members of partnering police agencies attended the press conference, including:

  • Chief Deputy Doug Farrell (U.S. Marshals)
  • NOPD Supt. Shaun Ferguson
  • Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto
  • St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre
  • St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith

They’ll be given access to special technology that could help catch the bad guys.

“What this NIBN system does is link firearm related evidence to where the crime gun was used to different towns, cities, states or just down the block and it allows law enforcement to solve cases and connect cases that expand different jurisdictions,” Dettelbach said when explaining the technology.

The unit will help link law enforcement agencies together with evidence so making an arrest in a violent crime could come quicker.

“Criminals do not have any boundaries,” said NOPD Superindent Shaun Ferguson. “We do have boundaries within our various jurisdiction, so this allows us to expand our ability to address violent crime collectively.”

Reverend Gregory Manning serves as the pastor of Broadmoor Community Church on Dupre Street.

“I appreciate the opportunity that there will be opportunity to have access to intelligence that will then lead to the prosecution of those who are chronically or habitually participating in and being perpetrators of these violent crimes,” said the pastor. But, he adds law enforcement needs to look at the root causes of these violent crimes.

“Look at programs that are going to take guns off the street,” said the pastor.

Watch full press conference

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