On March 19th Central Carrollton Association (CCA) held the Winter 2009 Community Forum with the theme of Community Safety. The two forum participants were:
Major Bruce Little, Commander NOPD Second District and
Leon Cannizarro, Orleans Parish District Attorney.
Below is a basic summary of their statements as noted by CCA Secretary Ted Argote:
Major Bruce Little, NOPD Second District Commander:
-Noted that cooperation and energy of residents of Second District a catalyst for improving conditions and relations between police and residents.
-His goal is to increase cooperation between Second District police and district Attorneys staff.
-A representative of the DA's office is now assigned to the Second District as well as each district in city.
-The Second District had greatest crime reduction in last quarter of all city districts due in part to citizen cooperation.
-Arrests have increased by 40% with 100% of homicides cleared. This increase in activity instills confidence in officers.
-His mission is to have officers engaged in investigation if incidents whenever suspicion exists and not wait until a crime have been committed.
-Importance of public cooperation in reporting incidents and concerns. Better to go out on a false alarm than to take a crime report later.
-By building a relationship between police, public and DA's office crime can be brought under control.
-Parents must be held accountable for what their children do. If parents are made to perform community service along with their children they may pay more attention to childrens activities.
-Addressed need for volunteers to mentor and work with kids to keep them from getting into trouble.
-Maps of NOPD COMSTAT passed out showing what crime had been reported and the locations, one for last 4 weeks one for last 90 days. Indicated that Second District had far fewer incidents than other districts.
Leon Cannizaro, Orleans Parish District Attorney
-Mr. Cannizaro noted that far too long the district attorneys office and police have not worked together for the improvement of conditions in the city. Previously 50% of the cases turned over to DA's office were rejected due to lack of information or procedural breakdown. This will now change under his watch.
-Dialogue will now begin between arresting officers and DA's office and an improved public advocacy.
-Now a representative of the DA's office will be on the scene of every homicide while police investigate. This will allow for better information compiled and reliable witnesses questioned.
-Witness protection will be improved so that the public will feel safe when reporting a crime or testifying, no longer will a witness have to wait for years before a case comes to court. Public confidence in the system will improve and witnesses will be more willing to come forward.
-DA's office will work with police officers to improve reporting skills and court room demeanor. Most police have had little training in writing reports and none in how to be an effective witness in court.