Mayor LaToya Cantrell appeared on national television on Sunday, claiming New Orleans was making progress toward retaining police officers in a city with a very high homicide rate, giving her confidence to weather the recall effort. expressed.
Cantrell was one of four mayors who appeared in the studio on CBS’s morning political show “Face the Nation” to discuss crime and policing in American cities.
Host Margaret Brennan asked about New Orleans’ murder rate, which is the highest in the nation. Citing the proliferation of guns on the streets, Cantrell said many people accused of low-level crimes go unpunished, allowing criminals to commit more serious crimes.
“You can’t focus on the police to fight crime. It’s about the system, the criminal justice system,” she said.
She said federal funding has allowed the city to put $80 million into law enforcement initiatives, and the New Orleans Police Department has put 75 special operations officers back on the streets.
“We are seeing real results with our field relocation strategy,” Cantrell said.
Despite her statements, the city is still suffering from a surge in violent crime.
Homicides rose 24% last year compared to 2021, and New Orleans had the highest murder rate per capita since 1996. The number of mass shootings is higher than before Hurricane Katrina.
As for the problem of police layoffs, last week’s data showed that the annual rate has slowed from 14.3% to 9.6% since the city announced it would offer officers bonuses for staying.
Asked directly about the recall effort against her, Cantrell said she didn’t see much motivation to oust her from office, citing her winning margins in the last two mayoral elections.
“From what I’ve seen, the residents of my city appreciate continuity in leadership,” she said.
Recall efforts need to get the approximately 54,000 signatures needed to put the question to a vote by February 22nd. Organizers said last week there were more than 30,000 people.
Other panelists were Mesa, Arizona Mayor John Giles, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.