Troop NOLA: What we know about the new Louisiana State Police troop in New Orleans
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.
- He hinted Wednesday he will also ask lawmakers during the session to resume death row executions, according to The Associated Press.
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