Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Orleans Police Department

Nikki, our friend Kristen, and I were robbed at gun point in the Marigny almost exactly a year ago. The teenage boys who robbed us made off with Nikki's cell phone and then, stupidly, used it for the next couple of days. Though reluctant to see the boys end up in our state's awful criminal justice system, I immediately brought the evidence to the police station, including the numbers called. No one was there to talk to me so I left a message with an officer at the desk. No one called me back so I called them. And I called. And I called. But no one called me back . . . until I wrote about it in the Times Picayune at which point I received tons of attention from the police, wondering why I had needed to make them look bad. "Why didn't you just contact me in the first place?"

Based on my experience, and the tons of feedback that I received from other New Orleanians who had similar bad experiences with the New Orleans Police Department, I was unsurprised to see that the police department has rock bottom approval ratings from the people they are supposed to serve. According to a recent poll by the New Orleans Crime Coalition, only 33% of city residents are satisfied with the performance of the NOPD. This is compared with an 84-percent satisfaction rating in Nashville and a 75 percent rating in St. Louis.

I am actually surprised that it's as high as it is.


  1. so what happ'd to the cell kids?

  2. Nothing happened to them. The article didn't run for about a month after the robbery, which is when the police finally spoke to me and took the information (again). There were three or four numbers called, over the course of a couple of days. A competent criminal investigator, which I like to consider myself, could have tracked the numbers to addresses and users and tried to identify the callers by talking to those people. This could have been as easy as making a phone call to those numbers. This is not CSI stuff. But I am almost sure it was never done. I hope those kids never hurt anyone.