Councilmembers discuss programs to curb New Orleans’ violent crime plague
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - With hundreds of cars stolen and broken into, and carjackings, homicides, and shootings all escalating in the first weeks of the new year, the New Orleans City Council is working to find solutions.
During Monday’s (Jan. 23) Criminal Justice Committee meeting, Hakim Kashif says programs like Ceasefire and Curb Violence should be implemented again.
“We are considered to be neighborhood change agents. We are young people that have been there and done it. We speak their language,” says Hakim Kashif. “I just want you all to allow me an opportunity to demonstrate what we can do in conflict resolution.”
Kashif says programs like Ceasefire target high-risk teens to intercept and stop them from further committing crimes.
“We are in front of violence before it happens. We are in front of those people. We don’t have to go on social media. We know the one-percenters. We know the target neighborhoods,” says Kashif.
For eight years, from 2012-2020, Kashif says he worked with the city and the program was successful.
“People seem to have forgotten that all the way through 2020, the city had a historically low crime rate,” says Councilman JP Morrell.
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Councilmembers agree there needs to be a concentration on at-risk youth, especially those already getting arrested.
“We want to figure out a path to get you back,” says Councilwoman Helena Moreno.
The council also addressed the number of guns stolen from vehicles during break-ins.
Councilman Morrell says since 2021, 3,000 guns were stolen and then used to commit crimes in New Orleans.
“Every firearm that you leave in your car to be stolen will likely be used to rob you or your neighbors or shoot someone in New Orleans. Please keep your firearms secure in your vehicles or even better, take it out of your vehicle. Don’t leave it in there,” says Morrell.
The council is considering a PSA to educate the public.
“We have to work with urgency if we are ever going to chip away at this problem,” says Moreno.
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