Kevin Boyd hit the majority of this out of the park earlier today…
Vitter said the State Police should stay permanently in the French Quarter. He’s right.
The NOPD is so incompetent and corrupt that Landrieu brought in the Feds to take it over. They have done such a bang up job that cops are leaving the force in droves and the fundamental issues with the NOPD remain.
Landrieu “responded” by whining about Vitter not sending more Federal money down. Because the City of New Orleans should never be forced to make it a priority. Oh and he says Crime Is Down!™
The only way will you save New Orleans is the state government will have to drag it kicking and screaming. If you leave the Mitch Landrieus and the other Democrat Party hacks in the city to their own devices, New Orleans will continue to decline. All these hacks know how to do is pander to their constituents and will not entertain any of the reforms necessary to save the city.
When David Vitter is elected governor, he needs to force reform after reform on the city in order to save itself. He should push a bill to let Lakeview leave the city so Landrieu won’t be able suck that productive conservative Republican enclave dry with taxes. He should seek to otherwise make the New Orleans city government as irrelevant to the citizen’s lives as possible. Finally, let’s pass a party primary bill so Republicans in New Orleans can have a chance in municipal elections.
Vitter should welcome Landrieu’s challenge and break his empire.
That’s exactly right. What you have in New Orleans is a police force that is inexorably broken.
The NOPD was incompetently led and corrupt before Mitch Landrieu took over as mayor, but what was its largest problem at the time was that it was understaffed. That city, based on its demographics and population, should have well more than 2,000 active-duty cops on the street. It has barely more than half that number.
And Landrieu’s first action was to go to Eric Holder and ask him to restructure the NOPD. Which Holder did, and promptly presented Landrieu with a consent decree which essentially prevents the NOPD from ever being an effective police force again, and worse costs the city an absolute fortune in compliance that it will never recover from if it is to put a proper amount of resources into actual policing.
To get rid of that consent decree will require not just a Republican president willing to have DOJ drop it, but a federal district judge in New Orleans willing to lift it. What Obama has done to the Eastern District bench makes finding a suitable judge a lot more difficult; the guess is that’s years and years away.
Which means that NOPD is going to continue flopping around as a dead agency for the foreseeable future. Finding people who commit crimes will be progressively more difficult, getting criminals off the street will happen less and less frequently and citizens will continue to be less safe.
Mitch Landrieu, who is trying to bulldoze the tourist attractions in New Orleans (why Jay Dardenne isn’t eviscerating him for that as the head of culture and tourism in the state is beyond me) as a means of changing the subject, is proffering the lie that Crime Is Down as though he’s a graduate of the Kevin Bacon School Of Riot Control, but everybody knows that even if he has the chutzpah to attempt to back that statement with numbers all those will show is that among the things NOPD can’t do is to compile accurate crime statistics.
Nobody believes Crime Is Down in New Orleans. Nobody.
So you have a police force which has been broken, not just from a management standpoint but also by a consent decree which destroys the ability for proper management to resurrect it without changes coming that nobody in New Orleans can actually make happen, and because that police force has been broken there is nothing to stop New Orleans’ criminal class from imposing a reign of terror over the city as though it was Gotham and the League of Shadows had set up shop there.
The only thing that can stop it is the state police. Which is why the state police is in New Orleans trying to put something of a lid on the problem in the city’s critical areas.
So if you can’t commit to a permanent state police presence in New Orleans, what you get is what we have down there right now – namely, state troopers from all over the place being tasked to patrol the French Quarter and other areas. Those troopers aren’t actually based in New Orleans, as we understand it; they’re being rotated in there.
What Vitter is advocating is this, from his website promising to…
Explore all short-term options to arrest the crime wave in the City New Orleans which threatens statewide tourism and job growth. This includes considering forming a new State Police troop there funded exclusively by tourism industry pledges and local revenue, and having the State Police help train and improve the professionalism of the New Orleans Police Department.
In other words, the State Police would stop acting as though they’re on hurricane duty all the time, and instead train troopers at the academy for permanent duty in New Orleans. That might mean taking on an investigative role, actually catching bad guys, and so on, instead of essentially standing a post on Bourbon Street. There is value in a state trooper standing a post on Bourbon Street, to be sure, but what New Orleans desperately needs is cops who find out who committed crimes and go catch them – and that’s what NOPD not only isn’t doing but will not do under that consent decree.
Thanks to Mitch, whom Vitter absolutely eviscerated at that state trooper forum by saying that his priority is to knock down Robert E. Lee rather than do something about crime.
Vitter’s raising the issue and keeping it in the forefront is good politics. It enhances his strength in the New Orleans area, where he can rack up votes in the suburban parishes, and it sets up a major fight with John Bel Edwards in the runoff. Edwards can’t afford to take a dump on Mitch Landrieu; the Democrats have circled the wagons around their few remaining officeholders, and the criticisms made of Mitch are also criticisms of other Orleans Parish leaders Edwards is going to need to get Herculean efforts at turning out the vote from in November – but on the other hand if Edwards fights Vitter’s proposal with too much vigor then (1) he looks like he couldn’t care less about preserving the good parts of New Orleans, (2) he’s just another Democrat machine politician sticking with the other Democrat machine politicians, (3) he’s soft on crime and corruption and (4) he’s neither a man of action nor a reformer.
It’s a bad issue for Edwards. It shouldn’t have been a bad issue for Scott Angelle or Jay Dardenne, who both ought to have had detailed plans for a permanent state police presence in New Orleans and – particularly in Dardenne’s case – a criticism ready for Bobby Jindal for not already having done so in order to protect the vital tourist industry in the Big Easy.