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WWNO News Reports
Wed November 23, 2011
New Orleans Launches Plan To Cut Murder Rate
By Eileen Fleming
New Orleans, LA – Mayor Landrieu says teams will track police investigations, how families are coping in the aftermath of a killing, what social services are needed and how business can develop economic opportunities for residents and ex-offenders. It's modeled on the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Homicide Review Commission - a program he says cut the murder rate there by 52 percent from 2005 to 2009.
"If we knew the answer, we would have told everybody already. If we would have had known the answer we would have scaled it across the country already. We don't know the answer. We're finding the answer. We are taking the position that it's unacceptable and we have to change it and we have to find a way. So we're searching. We're innovating. We're trying new things because what we've tried in the past has not worked."
Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas says the concept has been under review for months.
"We started looking at the homicide review commission at the end of last year, as one of the ways to put meat on the bones, to put the building around the house. So today is the way of saying that we've reached that next step. We've got a mechanism in place now to make this happen."
Landrieu says the homicide commission is part of the Saving our Sons campaign he launched, along with more funding for city recreation and summer job programs.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming