NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell held her first press conference of 2023 on Wednesday, focusing on three of the biggest topics faced by the city: crime.

At 10 a.m., the mayor announced her intent to meet regularly with local media every Wednesday as we press on into 2023 to discuss what’s going on around the city and answer any questions.

Only four days into the new year, the mayor admitted that the city has seen an uptick in violent crime. However, Cantrell adds that there is still work to be done to make the city safer.

Cantrell says the New Orleans Police Department needs support from the community and elected officials.

“Let our police officers do their job,” the mayor said. “Making sure, absolutely, that they have remained focused on constitutional policing practices, without a doubt, but we have to ensure that they have the tools and resources that they need.”

Cantrell believes more can be done on the district attorney’s end and says she is willing to work with the office to reverse the current trend.

“I think that understanding the caseloads that have either been dismissed or not acted upon in a timely manner, no doubt, has had an impact on what happens on the street,” Cantrell explained. “Making that connection is key because it’s accountability for all of us.”

Regarding complaints from people who say their trash is not getting picked up, the mayor’s office sent a letter to Richard’s Disposal last month, letting them know they have until January 12 to remedy the situation before legal action is taken.

“Because of that, we’ve already started to take those steps, and I just want to say that I really do apologize for the inconvenience that our residents are experiencing,” Cantrell said.

Looking ahead to Mardi Gras, Cantrell says the city has the opportunity to get federal help in boosting patrol.

“I’m very confident that we will deploy our strategies as we have done in the past, and we will make sure that we have a safe Mardi Gras season,” Cantrell said.

On the topic of finding a new superintendent at NOPD, Cantrell says she is still in the process of hiring someone or a company to aid in the search.

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