The New Orleans City Council has approved the appointment of a new Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department. This week, Anne Kirkpatrick was sworn in by Mayor LaToya Cantrell. I've had the pleasure to personally meet and interact with the superintendent on three occasions, and I applaud her for her interest in serving the citizens of New Orleans.
The members of the New Orleans Police Department conduct thousands of constitutionally sound arrests each year after responding to tens of thousands of calls for service and incidents. They conduct investigations, are available as needed in legal and prosecution-related proceedings, conduct special operations, and more.
However, the entire criminal justice system must work in the interest of protecting people from becoming victims of crime. The District Attorney prosecutors, the Judges of Criminal and Juvenile Court and Magistrates, the Sheriff's Office, and the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center, as well as probation and parole professionals, play a role in reducing crime. Mental health providers and social service providers also play a role. Those who oversee incarceration and in-house rehabilitation efforts also play a role.
The members of the NOPD are the first responders. However, there are other responders to crime, and their actions and resources play, collectively, a much more important role in making our community safer. We can all support and question professionals and elected officials in the law enforcement and criminal justice system to make progress on their commitment to reducing crime, improving overall quality of life, and enhancing the safety of citizens. We can write, send emails, follow on websites and social media, and invite them and their representatives to neighborhood meetings.
I say this to highlight that the role of Crime Prevention does not rest solely on the shoulders and backs of the NOPD. They continue to do more with less every day. Most people wonder and can't comprehend why it takes four hours or more for an officer to respond to a call. When there are less than ten officers patrolling the streets in an entire Police District - therein lies the problem!
Please be patient with the rank, but most importantly the file! They are here to protect and serve, and do the best that they can within the means possible. Don't take your frustrations of the system out on the ones carrying out the mission.
I'd like to open a dialogue about what we can do as a community of affected residents to effectuate positive change within our own neighborhood. There are a number of ways to augment the lacking and dismal NOPD police force. Let's have a meaningful discussion and talk about it.
I look forward to your input and feedback on this, and all issues of concern and importance to YOU and the residents of the neighborhood, as we collectively strive to make the Faubourg Marigny a great place to live, work, and play!
In service, I am
— Kip Hollar
Vice-President/Acting President, Board of Directors
FMIA - Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association
"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth."===============
~ Henry David Thoreau