Carrollton residents voice concerns in meeting with NOPD - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Carrollton residents voice concerns in meeting with NOPD

Neighbors looking for answers following a recent rash of crimes across the Carrollton area met with New Orleans police officials Monday. Both sides spoke out about the attacks and about how officers are responding.

"I am sick of being scared, basically," said resident Hilary Gold. "I am sick of being scared of walking to and from my car."

Like many others in the area, Gold has been on edge lately. In a period of just a few days, the Carrollton area saw four home invasions. In one attack, a victim was sexually assaulted. In another, suspects tied up and robbed two college students.

"It seems like some of these crimes are happening in broad daylight," Gold said. "And it really doesn't seem to matter what time of day, and I don't know when I'm safe and when I'm not anymore."

NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas said his officers focused on patrols in the area, making arrests in two of the cases.

"Your community was rattled by some crimes," Serpas said. "And I'm glad we got in front of it as fast as we possibly could. And we've got some people held accountable. I think with good, quality investigations, it's going to take them off the streets for a long time."

Serpas again spoke out about repeat offenders being back on the streets, including a suspect accused in both last week's rape and in the attack on the college students.

He encouraged residents to do their own part to keep themselves safe -  locking doors, keeping exterior lights on at night - and reporting any suspicious activity.

"The whole process of policing a city is based on using the best intelligence you have to put the officers where the problems are," he said. "The best intelligence isn't just our data, it's talking to the people in the neighborhood."

Meanwhile, neighborhood leaders say they're considering all options, including talking to residents about getting security cameras. But they, too, are calling on people in the area to take their own immediate measures.

"It's so important for individuals to take responsibility and to make sure that they're keeping their lights on outside, they're keeping doors locked and you know, they're just taking the part to play that they have to play," said Chris Canary with the Central Carrollton Association.

Residents asked about NOPD and 911 call center staffing issues. Serpas discussed challenges with funding and a lack of qualified candidates over the past couple of years, but he also pointed out that he recently hired 19 new officers and said recruiting efforts continue.

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