On Tuesday, Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced the creation of “A Generational Gun Violence Reduction Plan” for New Orleans. “I envision a New Orleans where all residents are safe from gun violence and empowered to reach their full potential,” the mayor said in a statement.
The plan is the result of a year of work by the Gun Violence Reduction Task Force and aims to meaningfully reduce the number of gun-related murders over the next 50 years. According to Mayor Cantrell, although homicides have decreased 30 percent since last year, “One is too many.” Since 1972, New Orleans has had more than 145 murders each year, with 90 percent of the victims having been killed by firearms.
The report on Cantrell’s new plan outlined three core components:
- The Gun Violence Prevention Collective (GVPC) – an entity tasked with funding and developing public health interventions, ensuring programming is effectively delivered, and measuring outcomes. The GVPC will offer preventative services to individuals considered likely to be involved in gun violence.
- Preventing homicides by solving homicide cases – by removing dangerous individuals from New Orleans’ communities, law enforcement can help deter future would-be shooters and increase community trust in the criminal justice system.
- Community Engagement – Cure Violence aims to prevent shootings by de-escalating situations before violence can occur. This is accomplished with the use of Tactical Intelligence Gathering and Enforcement Response and street surveillance cameras. You can read more about this program here.
The Gun Violence Reduction Task Force will have the following members:
- Jeff Asher – Crime Data Analyst and Public Safety Consultant for New Orleans City Council
- Dr. Jennifer Avegno – Director of the City of New Orleans Health Department
- Joshua Cox – Director of Strategic Initiatives to Mayor LaToya Cantrell
- Flozell Daniels, Jr. – Executive Director of Foundation for Louisiana
- Tamara Jackson – Executive Director of Silence is Violence
- Melissa Sawyer – Co-founder and Executive Director of Youth Empowerment Project (YEP)
- Nathalie Simon – Special Counsel to the CEO & President of Laitram, LLC
- Skipper Bond and Jordan Friedman – Bond Moroch
Jenn Bentley is a freelance journalist and editor currently serving as Editor-in-Chief of Big Easy Magazine. Her work has also been featured in publications such as Wander N.O. More, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, Examiner.com, and others. Follow her on Twitter: @JennBentley_