Despite millions of dollars spent to boost patrols in the French Quarter, it’s not clear that crime has dropped in the city’s most recognizable area, according to a report.
Over the last several years, the New Orleans Police Department has continued to face a decrease in manpower that includes the 8th Police District, which houses the French Quarter, WWL-TV reported. To compensate, Louisiana State Police troopers and a French Quarter Task Force, a special off-duty police detail created by Sidney Torres, were deployed to the area to supplement NOPD.
But while the increased police presence may be helping to ease residents’ peace of mind, a WWL-TV analysis found that crime in the French Quarter has not decreased.
“The data on its surface suggests that the crime level in the French Quarter has not gone down since the State Police came to the French Quarter on a more permanent basis and since the French Quarter Patrol started,” WWL-TV crime analyst Jeff Asher said.
Asher analyzed major crime reports written by police over the last few years and found that the number peaked in 2014, with 1,873 crimes reported to the FBI.
The number of crime reports did drop from 2014 to 2015, but a joint analysis by The New Orleans Advocate and WWL-TV found that the drop is at least partially linked to an increase in NOPD response times.
Because three different agencies patrol the French Quarter, it can be difficult to gauge the level of crime there, WWL-TV reported.
“Really drawing firm conclusions about what is happening in the French Quarter is tough, so in the end I think all we can say is crime does not appear to be down in the Quarter. But that doesn't inherently mean that the addition of these resources is a bad thing for the city,” Asher said.