NOPD plans sobriety checkpoint

The NOPD’s Traffic Division will conduct an upcoming sobriety checkpoint at an undisclosed location beginning Sunday (Aug. 20). The checkpoint will operate between the hours of 9 p.m. on Sunday and 5 a.m. on Monday (Aug. 21). The number of DWI arrests by New Orleans police has fallen in recent years, with only 69 in 2022, compared to more than 600 five years earlier.

Viewpoint: What will the next police chief be able to accomplish?

Insiders expect interim Superintendent Michelle Woodfork to be appointed as the next superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department. Woodfork, they say, is clearly the best choice among the six semi-finalists that Mayor LaToya Cantrell presented to the select committee of business, civic and political leaders for interviews this week. Two of the candidates are tainted, having left their previous positions under a cloud. Others might not be suitable because of their race, level of experience or lack of working knowledge about the city. 

With crime on top of almost every citizen’s mind, the city doesn’t have the luxury of hiring a chief who needs a couple of months to familiarize himself or herself with the neighborhood rivalries, gangs and drug culture behind much of the violence. While yesterday (July 19) was a rare murder-free day, other crimes still took place. 

It’s no secret that Cantrell handpicked Woodfork and that Woodfork has closely followed her boss’s lead.

NOPD plans sobriety checkpoint for Thursday night

The NOPD’s Traffic Division will conduct an upcoming sobriety checkpoint at an undisclosed location overnight on Thursday (June 15). The checkpoint will operate between the hours of 9 p.m. on Thursday through 5 a.m. on Friday (June 16). Motorists will experience minimal delays and should have the proper documentation available if requested, including proof of insurance and driver’s license.

Viewpoint: Citizens weigh in on picking a police chief

The International Association of Chiefs of Police has been conducting meetings across New Orleans this week to receive public comment on what citizens want to see in their next police Chief. NOLA Messenger queried more than a dozen residents to get their ideas of what attributes and policy directives are most important. The responses were wide-ranging and touched on many areas. 

“We need a Police Chief who is committed and laser focused on New Orleans with a clear vision of what is needed. He or she also must to be able to express that vision and get the job done,” said Irma Muse Dixon, former chair of the Louisiana Public Service Commission. 

“Citizens have a strong desire for a police chief who represents change. A leader who is forward thinking and open minded when it comes to evolving within the current state of policing in society.

Viewpoint: Could Tyre Nichols’ killing have happened in New Orleans?

My heart went out to RowVaugh Wells as she watched the evidence unfold last week against the seven rogue Memphis police officers and three first-responders who are alleged to be responsible for the untimely death of her son Tyre Nichols. A 29-year-old Black man, Nichols died on Jan. 10, three days after a fatal encounter with the MPD’s Scorpion police unit. Nichols made the mistake of trying to run away from the officers during a traffic stop. Running from the police is never a wise move and usually leads to an ugly chase.

Viewpoint: Will Interim Superintendent Michelle Woodfork be able to make a difference?

The citizens of New Orleans are shell-shocked, no pun intended, by the highest homicide rate in more than 25 years. Armed robberies have also skyrocketed. Numbed by the ongoing crime wave, residents are no longer surprised when they hear gunshots. After multiple shots rang out last Friday afternoon (Dec. 23) at Rouses on Baronne Street, people across the city were astounded by the brazen act of violence that took the life of comedian and social media sensation Brandon “Boogie B” Montrell.  

On Christmas morning, a 16-year old was injured in a Central City shooting.

Police seek persons of interest in double homicide on Danneel Street

The New Orleans Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in locating two persons of interest in connection with a double homicide that occurred Dec. 4 in the 2900 block of Danneel Street. At about 8:30 a.m. officers were called to the location for two males suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. They were transported to a local hospital, where they later died. The victims were Terry Johnson, 32, and Richard Watson, 46
Officers identified two unknown men (pictured above and below) as persons of interest in this investigation.

Viewpoint: All I want for Christmas is a safer New Orleans

It’s hard to turn on the news these days. There are far too many stories about innocent people who have been assaulted, murdered or carjacked. Also, I am not so naïve as to believe that all the crimes committed end up in police reports. 

The results of the NOPD Recruitment and Retention Survey, released Wednesday (Dec. 14) by Council President Helena Moreno and the Fraternal Order of Police, only make matters worse. Conducted by the AH Datalytics, the survey shows the high level of dissatisfaction officers feel about cronyism, favoritism and promotions based more on who you know than ability and experience.

Viewpoint: New Orleans voters need a voice in who runs the NOPD

For perhaps the first time since Mayor LaToya Cantrell appointed Shaun Ferguson as chief of police almost four years ago, Ferguson spoke candidly in public. “I want to encourage our city leaders to have better communication lines. This isn’t able personal agendas. It’s about the safety of the people of New Orleans,” Ferguson said Wednesday (Dec. 7) during his remarks on what influenced his surprise decision to retire in less than three weeks.

NOPD seeking men accused of firing guns on First and Derbigny

NOPD officers are asking for help in locating two suspects who were caught on video illegally discharging firearms on Thursday (Nov. 3). Sixth District officers responded to an illegal discharge of firearm at the intersection of First and South Derbigny streets. After reviewing Real Time Crime Camera footage, it was determined the two men and the car pictured above were involved in this incident. The vehicle is a gray-blue Infiniti QX 55, police said.