Here’s Mitch Landrieu’s Grand Plan To #MakeNewOrleansSafeAgain, And It’s Underwhelming…

Specifically, crime cameras. And more specifically, spending $13 million on building a command center to look at video of the French Quarter and dispatch police to make arrests accordingly, amid a $30 million overall cost.

ProjectNOLA, which has already blazed a trail on this issue without much help from Landrieu, put out a lengthy Facebook post today opining on the mayor’s plans…

The New Orleans Advocate just published that the mayor wishes to spend $12.6 MILLION to create a “command center” to monitor a network of crime cameras in the French Quarter, with a focus on enhancing security on Bourbon St. According to The Advocate, another $17m may be spent upfront on actual cameras, lighting and other Bourbon St. security measures.

In comparison… The most successful and cost efficient crime fighting program in New Orleans, Project NOLA has placed almost 2,000 HD crime cameras around the entire city since 2010 and built the Real-Time Crime Information Center at the University of New Orleans… using ZERO tax dollars or federal grant money. In 2015, the city administration refused to accept Project NOLA’s FREE offer to create a special camera monitoring center at the NOPD’s 8th District Station in the French Quarter, where officers may live-monitor crime cameras in effort to reduce crime.

With $12.6 million, Project NOLA could add 11,000 HD networked crime cameras to its existing nonprofit crime camera system and staff/manage/maintain the entire nonprofit program for the next 5 years at ZERO expense to crime camera hosts. Doing so would help make the ENTIRE city of New Orleans a safer place to live, work and visit… and not just the French Quarter.

Frankly folks, our current annual operating budget to manage a system of almost 2,000 HD crime cameras is around $250,000, which makes Project NOLA the most cost efficient crime camera system in existence. We’ve proven that it does not take millions to create and manage a highly successful real-time crime camera solution.

To help exemplify the success of the Project NOLA nonprofit crime camera system, here are some snapshots relative to just some of the major cases we helped solve in the NOPD’s 8th District: Our first publicized success in 2011, the Bourbon St. Mass Shooting in 2014, a brutal beating/robbery in the CBD, the French Quarter beating/robbery of a man in 2015, a shooting at Conti & Decatur in 2015, and a Marigny armed robbery of female tourist in 2016.

Here are the pictures that went with the post…

It’s not that it’s a bad idea for the city of New Orleans to use crime cameras, it’s that Landrieu is trying to reinvent the wheel. He’s trying to spend $30 million to do something which is already being done for far less. From ProjectNOLA’s website…

Developed by criminologist Bryan Lagarde, ProjectNOLA enhances public safety by dramatically increasing police efficiency and citizen awareness. Managing the largest HD city-wide networked crime camera system in America, ProjectNOLA’s Incident Monitoring Center receives video from 1400 cameras placed on New Orleans homes and businesses.  Routinely providing real-time supplemental information and video footage to officers, ProjectNOLA has assisted with over 500 criminal investigations, including 50 homicides, and may be the most successful crime camera system in the United States given the large number of major investigations that ProjectNOLA has helped closed via arrest and warrant.

A citizen-based crime abatement initiative, ProjectNOLA was created without the benefit of Federal grant money or city tax dollars and is the most cost efficient city-wide crime camera system in the United States.  As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, private donations and corporate sponsorships are greatly appreciated… and necessary for our continued success!

Thus…no $30 million in tax money spent.

Let’s bear in mind that Landrieu is only releasing all of these plans because of Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s media blitz surrounding the #MakeNewOrleansSafeAgain narrative. He’s trying to freeze Landry out of law enforcement in New Orleans, and if he does that he knows he’s got to present his own alternative solutions to those Landry might bring to the table.

But those solutions, particularly in light of what ProjectNOLA is already doing, look sloppy and wasteful.

New Orleans has a lousy mayor. The evidence for that is tough to ignore; it’s everywhere.

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