Mayor Landrieu calls on feds, state to deploy law enforcement ma - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Mayor Landrieu calls on feds, state to deploy law enforcement manpower to N.O.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

In the wake of Sunday's shootings on Bourbon Street, Mayor Mitch Landrieu is asking for help in the city's fight against violent crime.

"I have sent a letter to President Obama with a copy of a letter I sent last year, requesting that the federal government get back in the business of fighting crime in the streets of America," Landrieu said during a news conference Tuesday.

In the letter, Landrieu calls for the deployment of resources from the FBI, DEA, ATF and U.S. Marshals. He wrote:

"The City of New Orleans proposes creating a strike surge team of federal law enforcement specialists and prosecutors to come to our city to build cases and prosecute violent gangs."

Landrieu is also asking Governor Bobby Jindal for a permanent deployment of 100 state troopers to the city.

"[New Orleans generates] hundreds of millions of dollars for the state of Louisiana and there are huge state assets in this city and, of course, the French Quarter is part of that and I believe that the state police presence is warranted," Landrieu said at the news conference.

There are questions, however, over the feasibility of these requests.

"You don't receive if you don't ask," said Metropolitan Crime Commission President Rafael Goyeneche.

"I support and commend [Mayor Landrieu] for doing this. I just don't know if we're going to receive any help in the short term," said Goyeneche.

Goyeneche said he can't predict what the federal response will be. However, he points out that federal agencies and state police already have a presence here in boots on the ground, investigations and prosecutions.

Federal support includes help with the gang task force, ballistics testing and efforts to track down fugitives among other things, he said.

State police help with big events in the city, including Essence Fest this weekend. Although, Goyeneche said the department has its own challenges.

"If they take 100 troopers from the state police, that means there are 100 fewer troopers for the rest of the state of Louisiana and there's a shortage of troopers," he said. "I think that [Landrieu] asking for 100 troopers and us receiving above what we're getting right now is a win for the city."

Criminologist Peter Scharf said this request to solve a problem that has been years in the making boils down to finances.

"It's convenient to not take our own responsibility. Why didn't we see this coming," Scharf said. "Short term, they may not have the resources to do much. Obama is broke. Jindal is broke. The city is broke."

While Scharf agrees that the city needs more law enforcement presence, he said cities across the country have plenty of problems too.

"We need more resources, but so does Flint, so does Detroit, so does Chicago, so does every place else," he said. "How do you make a case that we deserve resources rather than someplace else?"

Tuesday, Governor Bobby Jindal issued the following statement in response to Landrieu's requests:

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the senseless violence in New Orleans this past weekend and we pray for their speedy recovery. New Orleans is one of the greatest cities in the world. We want to ensure New Orleans is the best place to live, visit, and raise a family. That is why we have already engaged in discussions with the Mayor and other city officials about ways the state can help supplement city efforts to make the city safer. The Louisiana State Police will deploy additional uniform Troopers to supplement NOPD in the areas of the French Quarter, Central Business District, and any other areas requested by NOPD through the July 4th weekend. We will continue to work with city officials on potential long-term options that will not adversely affect LSP operations across the state."

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