New Orleans mayor establishes violent crime task force following deadly start to 2023

Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 11:39 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2023 at 1:22 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - In an effort to combat a violent and deadly crime wave plaguing the city of New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell has established a task force.

Cantrell made the official announcement in a press conference on Wednesday (Jan. 11), noting that the task force will be made up of leaders from several agencies of local government and that it would be led by Tyrell Morris, who is the Executive Director of Emergency Communications for Orleans Parish.

Cantrell called now the “perfect time” for the creation of a task force “laser-focused” on reducing violent crime, saying that the city had resources for it now that weren’t available prior.

“We will be able to target where crime is occurring and it will be a data-driven approach,” Cantrell said.

The mayor called violent crime a public health crisis and compared the approach the city intends to take toward reducing it to the one they took towards fighting COVID-19. She said that, as with COVID-19, members of the task force will regularly meet in a “war room” to discuss strategies and goals will be set for each 60-day period.

“The 60-day window is set because we have to set goals and review what the trends are during these periods,” Cantrell said.

Other notable names listed as members of the task force were District Attorney Jason Williams, New Orleans Public Schools, and New Orleans Public Health. For a full list of members, see the document above.

Although the New Orleans City Council was left off the task force list, Cantrell said that they will be working closely with the council as they will with all major public entities. She also acknowledged a letter the council sent her days prior calling for the formation of a crime task force, saying that it was an example of “true alignment” that city leaders have when it comes to addressing violent crime, which has not slowed in the early days of 2023.


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City Council President J.P. Morrell says a special meeting next Wednesday to discuss the soaring crime rates. He says “ideas presented by the City Council will represent significant efforts to promote public safety, opportunities to work with other organizations and elected officials, as well as new resources to subsidize proven crime prevention plans and programs.”

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