Statement on Metropolitan Crime Commission assessment of calls for service, arrests, and jail population trends in New Orleans

According to the 2020 New Orleans open data on calls for service, 911 calls for service are no higher now than they were at the year’s start. And the four charges MCC represents as having “steadily increased”—homicide, aggravated battery, drug violations, and weapons violations—only account for a miniscule proportion of citizen calls (fewer than 5 percent) and have remained a consistently small fraction of calls all year. Indeed, the vast majority of calls are for minor incidents—disturbances, burglar alarms, and area checks.

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This week, the New Orleans Police Department will present its 2021 budget for consideration. The city already spends too much money on policing. This fiscal year, 24 percent of the city budget is spent on policing. This level of spending is more than 50 percent above the U.S. average. In this time of austerity budgets, we should be investing in community-based services for education, housing, and jobs instead.