New Orleans has the dubious distinction of being the new murder capital of the United States — with 52 homicides per 100,000 residents as of last Sunday, the New York Post reported.
With 205 homicides since the beginning of the year, New Orleans overtakes last year's previous per-capita U.S. murder capital of St. Louis with a 141% increase in homicides compared to 2019 and 78% increase compared to 2021, according to Metropolitan Crime Commission data.
New Orleans is 7 points higher than St. Louis on its per-capita homicides (45 per 100,000 residents as of Saturday), according to the St. Louis Police Department.
Larger cities have far more total homicides, but Chicago (18 per 100,000) and New York City (just 3.5 per 100,000) have far lower per-capita rates.
Shootings have also been on the uptick in New Orleans, as the city has seen a 100% increase in 2022 compared to 2019, according to the report.
Amid the rise in violent crime, New Orleans announced this month it is pumping $80 million into funding the police, including raising pay, providing full healthcare coverage, and providing a $30,000 increase in hiring incentives for new NOPD hires.
Also, the city has hired former New York City Police Department Patrol Division Chief Fausto Pichardo to conduct a review of policing in New Orleans, according to the Post.
Pichardo is calling for the city to take "action now" to save itself from violent crime and redeploy 212 police officers to patrol duty rather than their current assignments.
"Action must be taken now if there is ever a chance to save the city and bring the reputation of being a city where tourists can come to party and celebrate and not become victims," Pichardo wrote in a report released Tuesday, the Post reported.
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