Thursday, June 22, 2006

Crime wave

The crime problem here in New Orleans is getting out of control, so the local authorities imposed a youth curfew and had the Governor send in the National Guard to help out the NOPD. At least they're acknowledging the problem and trying to get on top of it. The idea is for the National Guard to patrol the sparsely populated "wet" parts of town to free up NOPD to focus on the "murder triangle" in Central City and other areas with crime on the rise. Still, it was odd watching the convoy roll into town the other day, and the powers-that-be in the tourism industry are afraid of what impression conventioneers might get when they see American soldiers patrolling a large American city during peacetime. This bit from reminded me of my own tendency to minimize things:

To that end, the Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau distributed hundreds of fliers in hotels reassuring tourists that only parts of the city should be considered off-limits.

The bureau told visitors that the National Guard has been assigned to "outlying damaged and sparsely populated neighborhoods," allowing the NOPD to patrol tourism areas and enhance "the already good safety record these districts enjoy."

The flier describes the recent spate of killings as "enhanced drug-related violence concentrated in a couple of isolated neighborhoods miles away" from the CBD, the French Quarter and the area around the Convention Center.

The one-page message urges visitors to walk the sidewalks of downtown -- but recommends against "venturing into areas of the city that are sparsely populated, particularly after dark."


Anonymous said...

boy, I'm on the next plane to NO! And if I had kids they would be right there with me!

Ann said...

Given the chilly relationship between the Mayor and the Governor, that he asked for help indicates how very serious the problems are in the unpopulated areas.

Anonymous said...

Man, is that grim. Funny thing is, my buddies are throwing my friend Matt's bachelor party in New Orleans - they're driving down all the way from Michigan just to let the good times roll. They want to help in the relief effort by "consuming mass quantities." I'd be right there with them, but I'll already be at law school. Incidentally, I picked WCL in DC over Ave Maria. It was the right choice, and I feel good about it.

I'm still reading, so thanks for posting! I took my blog down after the ill-fated Ave incident, but I just put up a new one on my own site last night. Stop by if you get a chance! Not much up yet, but now that it's set up I'll be pretty consistent.

Randy said...

Hi, Andrew!

That flier is probably correct about safety in the touristy areas, so your friends should be just fine.

I put up a link to your new blog. Glad to hear that you ended up at WCL, in spite of the cynical advice of a certain well-meaning individual named Randy. That Ave incident didn't portend well. The reasoning underlying that attack on you escapes me, but Mr. S. sure started off dirty. He seemed to be suggesting that because one of that school's students turned out to be something other than what he pretended to be, then any student who wasn't totally in line with the school's ideology would end up just like that student. However, there's a distinction to be made between a hidden criminal pathology and a seemingly open ideological disagreement--and that's just one flaw in Mr. S.'s argument.