Let's get real about crime in New Orleans

Tommy Tucker, WWL First News
Friday, July 14th

Tommy talks with Ronal Serpas, Professor of Practice in the Department of Criminal Justice at Loyola, former NOPD chief, about crime in New Orleans.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Ronald surpass joins us right now professor practice in the department of criminal justice at Loyola. To talk about we we like to say Macon Macon prime real Ambien real about crime and how do you separate perception from reality. And take the politics out of it mornings are. The moment on how you well and you. I haven't I haven't body English and the traffic through the we're in Canada and I we're from a teleprompter here you know Iraq. Well in fact if that's true that that means we're probably gonna have three major candidates for mayor and you know kind of what we we talk about human. I've that the politics influences law enforcement and city. As a white fool rule that it doubles can be destructive. You know on the first four years there have been some good plan that came out of this administration on fighting crime in the second four year it was pretty clear those who have not. Totally great still you know it. And the last 360. Seven under more than 700 people have been shot in the city. And more than 200 people have been killed and that's not a spike incident ought to twelve months now so. We have to think through these issues you know when one politician called another politician a career politician. That's gamesmanship that act and. He's a much John Kennedy in a moon land mood Mitch Lander. Mean it is a career politician is what it is and it's often uses the derisive term but 11 whose career called another critical way of kind of moving away from you should the bottom line. The issue is. We have to build on what we learn from we have to not make the same mistakes we got to continue to work. With the brave souls of the men and women in the PD you come out here and work to make the city's safe. The district attorney is not an adversary the district attorney should be a partner in crime fighting sharp does not Nat facility should be a partner crime fighting. You know you think through this issue more carefully community policing is not a human rights years and talk about and have a community relations unit. Bat an idea from the 1980 that it lost since been dropped does not affected you have to have a government a blatant. Obviously channeled it did when you talk about community policing the idea of having a special unit. Doesn't work but the the non policy does work community policing. Kitty policing has been what's made great headway in the last twenty years in America. Community relations divisions are artifact of the 1970s and eighties and those programs while they were good at their constipated don't fit the bill today. But you gotta know this community policing have to be something where officers at the time to do so and that the support the government and a couple of the few years ago when I was there it was the first retail level were whipped. Who got the link that police officers solving problems in the communities. That's what community policing it is have to go back to the city to get the problems solved and Andy created a B wants a month my Howland. It will work with community policing officers and those cities that ban and what problems have you identified in that you attack the citywide response to that. Backed the clue that I get it done. Another tired broad minded politics as I wanna get more offices in your neighborhood on the street walk and talk. When you have three and four Volvo response times you you can't do that and and secondly. If you gonna get on the street walk and talk in you have to have a government system behind them to solve the problem when you walk on the street some sort of office that band of model that makes me afraid. It back off what does that say thank you might produce so that learned that that's a tactic or strategy. The strategy is that all took a push that information back to the city government and the city since the body up expects. So big that the more deep issues that have to be confronted by these three candidates owe more on from there. We can't have worldwide we can't have you know feel good statements some more cops on the street sport follow our prompt that our the issue. Talking a former NO PD superintendent. Ronald surpass who also. Headed correct me chief the head of the Washington State please get and the head of the Nashville police department. All achieved but the department of thirteen years and voted most likely to be a police chief when your high school running. Or crumble which again while you know of the knowledge goes both ways so what you're saying is when it comes to community policing and being guilty last point a minute. And it's got to be done by the whole government you can isolate the police department that the government has to go the police department. If they get a complain about a lot of replied house or what hand you're street laid out. They need to be able take that information. Back to city hall and in City Hall is sends whomever they have to send out to take care of it MI get their right and. Absolutely and and that's circled back to the cop and citizen and they recognize that that relationship such information sharing with the top the citizen was better off afterward it tightened them to wanna call more. That's not the loop so to relate that to. Or why is that not happening now one doesn't happen in other cities. It doesn't happen in many cities would hope in fact I think ending was the first one that did it in the major city in a couple of the major cities are trying in the region it doesn't happen who didn't pursue it easy and it up yeah me I'll look at it all mean and put that together not always grateful that he did that because it was a great experiment to try and it worked. The reason it up and I can't do it isn't expensive because now the city at the fate of those streets department look we're gonna put these that the priority list because we're trying to create relationships with options community. You need to put that the priority list in the district directors that await him you know so. It's when the GAO the person who won the old government so it will depend how it's gonna happen. That helped the cops create a relationship with someone popped cop was able to help them not just talk about the problem. Helping it's so cute police in his practice problems well there you ago. That's how has the work in and we have that weapon and it was going incredibly well my perception of the once they stop the community policing sort of in the district that we're managing that that problem went to the wayside. The other thing you got to think about it obviously at a police department that has the command structure and a unit of command structure for 16100 people we're not gonna be 16100 people were probably four. Likely years so the department has been reorganized to reality a thousand people left command units less units of command. Fewer people in the district do investigations which I'm against a candidate of choice and it. They have to quit thinking that they're going to be at 16100 police department would eleven under lets people and then have the infrastructure to support that that's got to change. The whole list of things that need to happen and we can't go Amal now essentially. You have to realize a thousand people what's gonna happen quick pretended to be 16100 what you're stepping obstruction rules and right now. When you figure whose actually on the street as far as detectives and cops and special ops people you have 11100 people in your department. Some number of those recruits which is another issue it's going to be dealt with more effectively in the future. You have. So many people are going to be off so many people going to be out six some people going to be out on administrative respond regulars up 10% every day just because of the way the place works. You know because of these out these so. The city. In the police department Patrick which shooting itself in the foot with the hiring direct the problems with the fifty not recruit he shouldn't have opened higher. Don't think and very bad messages and give people the perception that. Political influence to have press conferences about our people more important and getting it right. And that's happened in many cities in America in the laws not immune to from the eighties and the post-Katrina are as late as we do wanna go all over again. Latest recruiting person why don't resonate or something. Yen and you know it's it's inappropriate to have recognized that the civil service department gave ballistic names and then that would. Preempt the vehicle PD from doing any research whatsoever purses. And to shift that back civil service from a paint civil service but in this case it was not correct to say that it was there all but the candidate got through. They're the ones who filed at the kind of got through after the you know PDs should this person so great we need to give more money than what the position call for. They never bothered to check the background clearly that book and terrible messages to recruit recruit candidates and officers was was helping you recruit. And in terms of terrible messages I would think if again looking at a holistic approach if somebody tells a police officer about something then they take the city bills and he'll fixes it. The converse is also true that if they tell the police officers something enough and happens then. The citizen says one what's the what's the point important point. After. That the magic moment comes you figured the Pope who can bring out that's exactly what the problem is because then anger gets moved to the cup. Got to keep that the top with the community policing idea. Go out their problems while proactively with the neighborhood you create a solution to a problem and the solution doesn't get fixed that neighbor tend to think what a couple of media. And no abilities wells by exactly have you every used a sentence I promise broke. Am I think your new York new Kyoto accord on that EA are your new all Laney and think you decision to cap a promise that. A step right skipped. Yeah yeah yeah exactly. So when it comes to what Senator Kennedy said when he came to the response that nearly Andrew issued. Is the truth somewhere in between net and I think the mayor said that either the crime was at 60% of the level. When it was when it was at a record high in new wall ones and that's the standard of Horry a noticeable decrease but. I mean if that's the case if you sane and the horrible was better and terrible is that accurate or not. Not I agree with our short on this went into compared to the 1990s and consistent with the entire national experience. A what we do know this. The city you'll more violent crime now but it did four years ago we do know that the traditional ones says 700 people shot 365 days New York as well and about people shot 365 days. We do note that in the years 101112 and thirteen for 20101112. And thirteen that would last 70000 major crimes in the city. In the New Year's 141516. And seventeen is going to be more than 70000 closed at 20000 crimes. We do know that the call and were successful in dramatically reducing violence in the city and we have reasonably from the report does not been a call and since Tony fifteen. So no I don't think you get both on that answer to be clear there is true that is dramatically more crime woes than it was four years ago but it. Inappropriate to compare to 1990s under any circumstance. Is that the and it's almost like. Everything's changed again the one hand on the one hand we're very proud that this city has recovered train I'm glad recovered from Katrina we have less property we have what people's kids graduating from school. We have greater opportunity is what the city has been offering over the last seven years is evidence of growth. And in 1990 we have 1990s we had more people living probably signals are how old we get much bigger city footprint population. It just not comparison networks are well. We talk about dom good people move and out of Orleans parish who talked about this yesterday. Mom about that mullah heels may be movement in gentrification of neighborhood of Sadr would. Which is there any way that would have an effect on crime and a lot of people are torn between the gentrification thing but. Or will lose social conditions that cause crime homily continue regardless of who moves in around. If you fundamentally believe. And and I do after all you the law enforcement that this small percentage of people calling the disproportionate impact in crime. The changing the changing nature of neighborhoods will pop up against that occasionally but across the nation we treat the term gentrification. Explain. Pop impoverished areas that become a better situated well many of those cities crime goes down at the natural option the the ultimate truth fears that. It's been this way in chronological research for thirty years you have really small percentages of people creating huge problem crime the violent crimes are real product. When we find them and when we attacked them with new and innovative strategies like we did here in twelve and thirteen which worked very well and others should do the same thing. You could have an impact on those violent crimes moving aside from that one of the problems that we have with so much more crime after 2014. Could be. Increasing calls service wait has the relationship to reduce the number of crimes you to what that means that is in the last three years and four years we have demonstrably more crime and we did in the park forty years. And that's also influenced by the differences for years ago more than four years ago extra treatment to get a call. Now what takes so much more top people drop all together dumbing down what the real crime problem has today vs warriors. When it comes to who ever is the new mayor and a new administration. I guess we'll start with achieve Harrison muscle likelihood that he will remain the superintendent. I have good man a work with him on an awful lot of years the reason major city chiefs of big city chiefs have short and yours is because of elections. Every governor and there that hired me hired me to replace a good person but because they need to change or were present the flocks of the election. So will it remains to be seen. If you take the personalities. This Tamara Andrew to serve as she parent you tickled personalities out the candidates who run from there have to look at the data. The data doesn't support that things are going well the data doesn't support that in and copd publicly released beta. The data doesn't support that and political poll shows half the people and Citibank or in the wrong direction getting worse. And that 48% of the people in crimes the number one issue and the closest 12 as an 8% so. You have to look at those things when governor Locke art me it's because he needed change my predecessor was too good job but he needed change when mayor Purcell party he'd need to change obviously in the war we need change 2010. That's kind of what's gonna happen happened and you know you you introduces this section about that or America that's no names just data. We can't have Roma we can't have you could statements we can't have more cops in your neighborhood walk in the beat when we know that there's not there we can't recognize. But missed opportunity to put the facts in front of the data the candidates and let candidates respond to the facts. And that's what's gonna happen that you to a law that rubble as a vote the city. And in terms of you know there's the standard response which had the follow up questions the power you gonna do this and then beyond that what. Which you do it say if you want to have more cops out there or walk in the B you say great I appreciate that but with the fourth of our response probably you make that happen once he murders shootings go to an epic that happened great how you gonna do the bank unit which was. Decimated by the staffing problems in the last couple years. With the successful thing how you can put more people in their. You know answers could be ruled out in the apartment getting rid of as many command structure is dealing with the numbers of district scrap that need to be fewer. Creating more people available on movie the district detectives go to some kind of real answers. But they still create more questions in the ultimate question is how we want to hire people. Without what is clearly reported in the public meaty the undue influence of the which we waivers the undue influence of what happened with this most recent director which appeared to be from meteor count only. At the deputy chief of staff sent over from City Hall also had a fingerprint on having someone brought forward from the appointing authority which is the cheap and only the chief makes that call. Are someone who clearly wasn't eligible those things or self inflicted wound. But two year decrease in homicide where the candidate should be prepared to suggest. You know what there's this stepping issue here but other cities with staffing issues are increasing corner is so that must be a leadership accountability issue is what I think we should do. Other kind of significant real questions have to be answered. Although not politically palatable wooded. Honest to say look closes knighted Clara and for quite some time and there are no short solutions on being honest with you you may not like the way it sounds would that actually beat. And again you probably won't hear that because of the politics and would that be an appropriate and true response. I think so especially if you wrap around the concept of look that this is decked it out inherited every American to say that their new this is what I'm Terry. And from there they can take it in the wrong direction that's what we expect. There are apps available in name that you. There are steps that can be taken to immediately realize organization to which true reality of eleven untrue less people as opposed 16100 people and create some efficiencies. Those efficiency you create ways of realigning people on Parsons. I think we continue to support the pay package for those officers that work there everyday for such thing does step that the mayor did he deserves kudos that was good step forward. You gonna have to recognize that would not going to be 16100 people we can't continue to act like we. And as a result of that we can't continue to say we're gonna do all these community policing things and do Wallace when we are almost by design creating a failure. When it comes to a new superintendent I think in making case both for. From hiring one of our lord named a new one from within the department or finding an outside candidate buddy thing. I think at that the decision that be confronted but I will have in this war on has great opportunity and I think finding achieves the let's assume for example for some reason Mike could you wanna be here to pick my out of the equation what they've they've decided entry would come. I travel the country looking at least treat all the all you'll and here's what there are a lot of proven cheat that people were the number two person looking for the effort shot there are a lot of proven police chiefs in America and department are or right near our side. Who I think on the war went with a new mayor and a new administration. Opportunity to wanna be part of I appreciate people who party don't appreciate you time and really duels to again. Thank you.