Anxious Algiers residents seek answers to crime day after Samaritan killed in carjacking

By Kelsey Foster, The Lens contributing writer |

A day after a good Samaritan was shot and killed while trying to stop a carjacking in Algiers Point, a beefed-up police presence was evident in the usually quiet West Bank neighborhood, as police cars trolled the streets and a helicopter circled above. But the efforts of the New Orleans Police Department weren’t enough to calm the nerves of Algiers residents who met at the International School of Louisiana tonight to discuss what can be done to remedy a perceived spike in crime and absence of officers.

Overall crime may be lower, but council wants NOPD to bring down homicides

By Matt Davis, The Lens staff writer |

Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas faced tough questioning this afternoon from a skeptical City Council about how his well-publicized reforms are  addressing the city’s homicide rate. The chief came armed with a sheaf of statistics to support his efforts, but council members were not receptive just two days after a bloody Halloween night in which gun violence killed two men and injured 14 people across the city, including a fatality in the French Quarter.

City officials persist in routinely violating public records law

Ask Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration about its frequent failure to comply with public records law and it will tell you that it thinks it’s doing a good job – or, well, a better job than the previous administration under Ray Nagin. Maybe so, but the letter of the law – which requires release of public records within three days of their being requested – is frequently violated.

Dragnet cast for spokesman

New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas has decided to replace his top contractor for communications and chief spokesman, Bob Young.

Ronald Davis or Ronal Serpas

Today, Mayor-elect Mitch Landrieu announced that he had whittled down his choices for next NOPD superintendent to two but did not name them. A source with knowledge of the interview process has told The Lens that the two are current Nashville chief and former NOPD Deputy Ronal Serpas and current East Palo Alto top cop and longtime Oakland Captain Ronald Davis.