NOLA’s Murder Rate Improves But City Begins 2014 With a Homicide

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2013 saw fewer murders for New Orleans in nearly 30 years.

The unofficial number of homicides in 2013 was 155, down from 193 the previous year.

Official figures will come from the FBI.

Tulane criminologist Dr. Peter Scharf says its important to figure out why people stop killing, to continue doing what works, “There’s a possibility you can get a result and not know why you did it.”

Dr. Scharf says taking down notable crime leaders, like convicted murderer Telly Hankton helps temporarily, “Put them out of commission. Arrest them and put them in jail. The murder rate is going to drop. But sometime a lot of little competitors take over and they’re more lethal.”

He says “one year” is too short a time span to detect patterns that explain the drop in murders, “Is it good news? Yeah. Is it time to say hooray we’ve don’t it? No. We’ve got a long way to go.”

The crime expert still gives credit where credit is due, “There is one group that says it was the police. And I’m actually sympathetic to that view. They’re much more focused, they’re much more strategic. They’re much more data driven. They’re basically doing a lot of right things.”

Scharf says calculating the official figures from the FBI with the latest population count, will determine 2013’s murder rate.







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