NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has gained support from high-ranking New Orleans public officials for his crime-fighting efforts in New Orleans, despite opposition from Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Police Superintendent Michael Harrison.
Landry released three letters his office received from Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman, Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro and Police Association of New Orleans President Mike Glasser showing support for Landry’s Violent Crimes Task Force.
The task force launched in the summer of 2016 and made 11 arrests during the last quarter of 2016, in addition to assisting NOPD with five armed robbery arrests, according to Landry’s office.
As WGNO reported last week, most of those arrests were for marijuana, and all of them were drug-related. None of the arrests made by his task force were for “crimes of violence” defined by state law.
Chief Harrison sent a letter to Landry last week in response to the arrests. He asserted in the letter that “we are aware of no authority that permits you, your employees, or law enforcement agents under your direction to engage in active law enforcement within New Orleans or in general.”
That’s in stark contrast to the praise Landry’s office received from Gusman, Cannizzaro and Glasser.
“In the last 7 years, a variety of adverse circumstances has rendered the New Orleans Police Department less than capable of performing the public safety service that it has historically provided,” Glasser wrote. “Your attention and contribution to the violent crime problem is both appreciated and welcomed.”
Gusman said in his letter that he welcomes the AG’s efforts and said it’s a “critical addition” to local law enforcement.
“I have never seen an Attorney General who takes not only an active interest in the public safety of this city, but who also is willing to devote his previous government resources to accomplish the mission of making our streets safer,” Cannizzaro wrote in his letter.