Darlene Cusanza, executive director of Greater New Orleans Crimestoppers, takes a different approach than Thom Kahler and Brian Denzer when it comes to getting the public involved with crime. The nonprofit organization doesn't provide information, but it acts as a conduit for citizens to report on crimes in their area. Phone calls to Crimestoppers are anonymous, and now tips can be relayed via text messaging as well as emailing the organization, which then forwards the information to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
Cusanza speaks to many neighborhood groups about crime in their communities, and she has discovered, after the fact, that an anonymous tip can sometimes lead to more than one arrest, making an area much safer.
"We don't share or map our tips and provide it to the public," she says. But neighborhood groups have let it be known that calls are made to Crimestoppers about drug dealing and other crimes, 'and they have used that as almost a preventative measure," she says. 'Because the more complaints [Crimestoppers sends to the police] ... on a particular neighborhood, the higher the incidence of some [police] surveillance being done in that particular area."
Greater New Orleans Crimestoppers can be reached by calling 822-1111, visiting the group's Web site, or texting a crime tip to: 274637. Crimestoppers will pay a reward for useful tips.
Greater New Orleans Crimestoppers
New Orleans Citizen Crime Watch
NOCrimeline (Thom Kahler)
City of New Orleans Crime Maps
Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office Crime Maps