Soon, Mardi Gras will be a memory until next year, and we will be left to confront what seems to be some hard truths. We all know there is a police shortage. Attrition, low pay, firings for misconduct, low morale–the reasons are legion.
What has not been as plentiful are solutions. My opinion? One of the solutions is politically toxic for a mayor with eyes on higher office, perhaps say, Baton Rouge. Some taxes will have to be raised. (Gasp) I know, I know everyone hates taxes with the passion of a Spanish-language telenovela (soap opera) but this city desperately needs an influx of cash. Cash for what? How about to pay the police and fire departments?
We have to begin attracting the best and the brightest to the ranks to fight this growing crime wave. Murders were down last year (Times-Picayune, Jan 6, 2015)-record lows, but other crimes have gone up. Armed robbery, in particular, has gone up. Old women are being carjacked, church parking attendants are being robbed, and locals are being harassed by “gutter punks” ( a long time plague on this city) in the Quarter. Many of the locals already know about what’s going on in that same part of town.
But New Orleans is more than the French Quarter, it’s a living, and breathing city. But her breathing is labored, and it’s not getting better.
It’s a sobering thought, but there isn’t much that can be done about shootings such as the other night on St.Charles or the one on Rampart and Canal. Not unless the police develop the ability to read minds and hearts. However, a larger police presence can curb the robberies, rapes, and muggings.
Yep, Mitch, you’re gonna have to propose raise taxes, and frankly I don’t know if you or the “do-gooder” city council have the political balls to do it. And that’s not even far enough, you and the city council and other officials have stand behind it. It’s one thing to put a tax increase before the people for the Audubon/Uptown crowd. (The failed tax referendum for the Audubon Institute) One thing is for sure, something has to be done because this is a public safety issue. Citizens have the right to feel safe in their city, it’s your job to maintain the peace that will allow them to do so.
Beyond that, we know many of the perpetrators of these crimes. We know by now how they ended up this way. The fact is, until we attack the root of that problem, we are just using a mop to soak up the ocean. It’ll get wet, but you know…there’s a lot more water where that came from.