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Mayor’s Strategic Command to Reduce Murders

Launch date: January 2012 End date: December 2013

The Mayor’s Strategic Command to Reduce Murder was successfully implemented in New Orleans with three key successes: 

  • Provided a space for the criminal justice system, neighborhood groups, schools, faith-based organizations, and others to develop action items to assist in reducing murder
  • Convened murder case reviews with local, state, and federal law enforcement partners
  • Strengthened the City’s murder and non-fatal shooting analysis capabilities by conducting routine and ad hoc analysis of non-fatal shootings and murders, and providing that information to stakeholders 

The City continues to convene criminal justice and community partners through multiple working groups and collaboratives, and the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice Coordination continues to publicly provide analysis of murders and non-fatal shootings.

Why part of murder reduction strategy

Evidence base: The Mayor’s Strategic Command to Reduce Murder was modeled on the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission, which has been identified by the Department of Justice as a best practice, and for Milwaukee, has been instrumental in realizing a significant reduction in murder.9

Performance indicators and results

  • Continuously updated database of murders and non-fatal shootings – Complete and ongoing
  • Number of murder reviews and data-sharing with law enforcement and community stakeholders – Nearly every month from 2012-2013
Footnotes

9 Azrael, D., Braga, A. A., & O’Brien, M. E. (2012). Developing the Capacity to Understand and Prevent Homicide: An Evaluation of the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice. 

Initiative partners

  • Operating Partner: Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine
  • Participating Agencies: Addicted to the Lifestyle, APEX Community Advancement, ATF, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Children’s Bureau of New Orleans, City of New Orleans - Health Department, City of New Orleans - Homeland Security, City of New Orleans - Mayor’s Office, Covenant House, Crimestoppers, DEA, FBI, GNO Inc, HANO Police, JOB1, Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana, LA Coalition for the Offender Resources, LA Probation & Parole, Louisiana State Police, Loyola University New Orleans, New Orleans Black Men and Boys Initiative, New Orleans Business Council, New Orleans Crime Coalition, New Orleans Family Justice Center, New Orleans Fatherhood Consortium, New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation, New Orleans Business Alliance, NOPD, NORDC, Odyssey House, Office of Juvenile Justice, Orleans Parish School Board, Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, Orleans Parish Coroner, Orleans Public Defenders, Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, Recovery School District, Total Community Action, Tulane University, United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana, United States Department of Justice, United States Marshals Service, Urban League of Greater New Orleans, Vera Institute of Justice, Voice of the Ex-Offender, Voices of Experience, Volunteers of America, Youth Empowerment Project

 

Frank Palestina – Former Probation and Parole District Administrator, New Orleans District Office

In my role, I have been aware of the need for improved collaboration and information sharing among federal, state, and local law enforcement partners. Although each agency was committed to resolving the murder problem in New Orleans, the lack of teamwork resulted in less than desired outcomes. By unifying the law enforcement agencies into Strategic Command, the total resources became greater than the sum of individual parts. More importantly, the Strategic Command provided structure and leadership to the law enforcement community. Over the course of the last four years, this comprehensive effort has resulted in the arrest and conviction of multiple gang members as well as individual offenders for committing the crime of murder. On a personal note, I am very proud to have been a part of this collaboration and look forward to more positive results in the future.

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