Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R-Tea Party) wants to help New Orleans:
This weekend – 50 two-person teams comprised of special agents at the LBI, St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office, and Hammond Police Department will patrol the outskirts of the French Quarter and the Central Business District. Moving forward – specials agents from the LBI are expected to team with task force members from the Sheriff’s Offices in Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John, and St. Tammany and the Hammond Police Department.
I’m pretty much struggling to understand what white-collar-crime investigators from the AG’s office are going to do to help with the crime situation. Landry’s word is “visibility”, but simply being visible isn’t all that much of a help. Now, if these folks are real investigators, isn’t there, some, you know, investigating they could be doing? According to Landry’s website, the Criminal Investigation Division of the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation of the Louisiana State Police (how’s that for a mouthful?) has three field offices in the state, in Baton Rouge, Breaux Bridge, and Alexandria. None of these people are based in New Orleans. That makes me wonder about another of Landry’s statements:
“By reallocating time, this new effort will not cost the City or the State anything new; but it will support and assist the NOPD, State Police, and FBI here,” added General Landry. “If we are to bring an end to the smear of crime, fraud, and corruption that tarnishes our great State’s reputation and affects the quality of life of all in Louisiana – law enforcement must work together.”
Not true, General Landry. If these investigators don’t live in New Orleans, someone has to cover their expenses. That’s a bit more than “anything new”. If Landry plans for this task force to run “perpetually”, does that mean he’s permanently pulling these LBI folks from the three cities where they’re based now? Were their tasks in those offices so unimportant he can just uproot them?
Still, those of us in the New Orleans metro area should be thankful for this increased visibility of cops, right?
Not so fast. Support from the Tea Party always comes with a hidden agenda. The Advocate offers some insight in their coverage of this task force:
Landry clashed with Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration this spring when he championed a push for state legislation that would have allowed him to label New Orleans a “sanctuary city” because of local limits on police collaboration with federal immigration officials. The effort, which would have allowed Landry to strip state bond money from the city, failed.
General Jeff Landry doesn’t like how the city handles immigration? Imagine that. Clearly he doesn’t like how NOPD does things to the point where he’s dropping his cops into the city. It’s curious that he’s decided to do this over the Fourth of July weekend, for Essence Festival. It’s the weekend with the biggest influx of African-American visitors to the city.
If Jeff Landry wants to help lower crime in New Orleans, he should deploy LBI to augment NOPD detectives, assisting with clearing violent crime cases, arresting the offenders, and breaking up organized criminal activity. Dropping a bunch of state cops in the CBD is only good to show the white people in suburbia and outside the city that you’re doing something in their eyes.