"Operation Relentless Pursuit" is the New Orleans Police Department's (NOPD) crime-reduction strategy, which encompasses several familiar efforts under an umbrella that Mayor Mitch Landrieu is calling a "tougher, smarter" plan to fight crime.
In an email promoting the plan today, Landrieu says "we must be a city of peace, a place of safety for all our citizens and visitors" adding that New Orleans "must be united, relentless and fierce in our response" when crime "threatens our neighborhoods."
Landrieu and NOPD chief Michael Harrison spoke with businesses and neighborhood groups about the plan in meetings today
. The plan, Landrieu says in the email, will work alongside Landrieu's NOLA for Life initiative, not as its replacement. "We'll protect our neighborhoods by strengthening our communities, not tearing them down," he continues. "Well do it by partnering with community leaders, local businesses, community centers, and religious institutions across our city. We'll do it by partnering with you and your neighborhood because we're all in this together."
Landrieu's bullet points are: increasing police presence, improving police response time, reducing crime across the city and recruiting aggressively. A better look at Operation Relentless Pursuit — a name and branding that first appeared this week — shows that the plan includes department-wide changes that already have been in place with NOPD, including its task force that adds 16 officers to crime hot spots, moving officers off desk duty, its new false alarm response protocol
, the Multi-Agency Gang Unit, sexual assault response
and DNA lab hires
, pay raises and its Get Behind the Badge campaign.
Last week, the New Orleans City Council pressed Harrison and NOPD
following several restaurant robberies and sexual assaults, which also have downtown neighborhoods on alert