Feb 1, 2024 - News

Troop NOLA: What we know about the new Louisiana State Police troop in New Orleans

Photo shows a man with a Louisiana State Police hat on in the French Quarter

A new Louisiana State Police troop will police the French Quarter and other neighborhoods in New Orleans. Photo: Barry Lewis/In Pictures via Getty Images

State and local leaders are moving forward with creating a permanent Louisiana State Police troop in New Orleans, an idea first reported by Axios last year.

Why it matters: New Orleans has a longstanding partnership with LSP, but this would mean changes for how the city is policed.

Driving the news: Troop NOLA plans to have 40 troopers patrolling the French Quarter and other neighborhoods, NOPD Superintendent Anne Kirkpatrick said Thursday at a joint press conference with Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

  • The chief said she has met with Gov. Jeff Landry and State Police leaders, and "we are absolutely partners and teammates in this."

What's happening: The creation of Troop NOLA will be discussed after Mardi Gras at a special session focused on crime, Landry said Wednesday.

  • Lawmakers will be asked to vote on a "funding mechanism to get that troop up and running," he said, but didn't release details.
  • "Having a permanent troop in New Orleans is the only way that I see to keep the city safe over the next decade," Landry said, calling the city one of the "greatest assets that this state has."

Zoom in: Capt. Donovan Archote and Lt. Valentine Emery, both of Troop B in Kenner, will oversee the new troop, which aims to deploy in March, reports John Simerman of NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune.

  • Landry says he will meet with leaders next week to get a better idea of the timeline.

How it will work: Kirkpatrick said the troopers will help with responding to calls for service and reducing response times. They will also help with violent crime initiatives, she said Thursday.

  • Kirkpatrick told a business group in December she wants LSP to be the primary agency on interstate cases, specifically mentioning I-10 shootings. In 2022, at least 30 people were shot on New Orleans interstates.
  • The idea was repeated in the recommendations from Landry's New Orleans transition council, which said crime and its root causes were the "preeminent issues impacting" the city.
  • Another recommendation was get Alcohol & Tobacco Control, Wildlife & Fisheries, and the Fire Marshal assisting NOPD with enforcement in the French Quarter.

The big picture: The New Orleans Police Department has lost several hundred officers in the past few years, amid an increase in violent and property crime.

  • Kirkpatrick said she's recruiting more officers and leaning on partnerships to bolster responses to calls for wrecks and mental health crises.

The backdrop: NOPD has been governed by a federal consent decree since 2012. Cantrell and Landry have been vocal about their desire to end the consent decree.

  • Landry on Wednesday went so far as to say NOPD "is in shambles because" of the decree.

Yes, but violent crime rates improved last year, with killings down 27% compared with 2022, according to Missy Wilkinson at NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune.

What's next: The state's special session on crime will start Feb. 19, Landry says.

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