Nov 052012
 

The Upper Audubon, Audubon Area, Upper Hurstville, Hurstville, Twinbrook, Touro-Bouligny and Garden District security districts in Uptown New Orleans. (map by Brendan McCarthy of WWL-TV)

The nearly 30 neighborhood security districts around the city of New Orleans — ranging from the relatively small districts around Uptown to the massive districts in Mid-City, Lakeview and the Central Business District — generated approximately $6 million in taxes and fees this year, enough to hire an additional 85 officers on the New Orleans Police Department, according to recent investigation by Brendan McCarthy of our partners at WWL-TV.

Meanwhile, the staffing of the New Orleans Police Department is at its lowest levels since 1973, McCarthy reports in a followup: 1,280 sworn officers, down by 260 since May 2010:

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  • KCD

    This suggestion that security district fees should instead be used to pay for more NOPD officers is ludicrous and illogical. I have an alarm system in my house to deter crime. By the same logic, should I have instead taken the money I spent on my alarm system and just sent it to the city for more police officers? How many NOPD officers could be hired if no one had an alarm system? How many officers could be hired if no one had deadbolts and sent to saved money to the city? See, stupid, huh?

    The more reasonable analysis is instead:
    How many MORE officers would NOPD need if there were no security districts? The districts security officers save the city money by
    responding to small problems (dog barking, loud parties, weird noise in backyard, etc.), saving NOPD’s time for the other calls and the bigger crimes.

    • Chris S

      On the Contrary, the Private Uniformed Officers are just that…Officers. They have a commission issued by the NOPD. They respond to any and every call that the NOPD does; so long as its within their boundary lines of the Security District. They can and will send criminals to jail. As a matter of fact, they are REQUIRED by Superintendent Ronald Serpas to do so.
      So yes, they respond to Alarms, intrusions, break-ins, people armed with weapons, etc. Whole 9 yards. They have full Duty Belts and Bullet Proof Vests. The only thing they cannot do is pull someone over. But if the vehicle is already stopped (such as someone passed out in the vehicle), Then it’s game on. They only get NOPD involved when its necessary to do so. For example, the Private Officer gets dispatched to an intrusion alarm, response time is 2 minutes, he arrives and everything is secured with no signs of forced entry or tampering. marks it up as Necessary Action Taken with a Report and moves on. No need to call NOPD and waste their time. :)

      As for wasting the money. I don’t see it as a waste of money. Private Officers are supplemental; an addition to the NOPD. As you said before, they can and will take care of the small petty stuff instead of wasting NOPD’s time. But on the other hand, they, too, get tied up on the more serious stuff such as shootings, robberies, burglaries, etc. As much as they want to, they cannot prevent all crime within the District. They try really hard to, but its not possible. Especially when the criminal know that they are there and play Hide-N-Seek. Having a Supplemental Patrol simply ADDS security and safety to the District along with NOPD. The Private Patrol, once established, know everything about the Security District they work. They know what vehicles belong in what driveways, they know who walks their pets at what times and what routes so that they can make sure they stay safe, they know who doesn’t live in the district so they can keep an eye on them.

      I say this with such passion because I risk my life everyday protecting life and property and enforcing criminal law within my Uptown District. Yeah, my jurisdiction is limited, yeah, I do not have the FULL authority of NOPD…but hey….as long as my residents are safe, as long as I can cuff a criminal and send them to jail, as long as I make it home alive at the end of the night; I love what I do! and so do my residents! LOVE YOU ALL!