NEW ORLEANS, LA—Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and federal, state, and local law enforcement officials highlighted the success of the City’s Group Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS) and Multi-Agency Gang (MAG) Unit in 2013. GVRS is a key initiative of Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s NOLA FOR LIFE comprehensive murder reduction strategy and is a nation model pioneered by criminologist David Kennedy.
Watch video of Mayor Landrieu's remarks
“Reducing the number of murders in New Orleans is one of our highest priorities and we have all hands on deck,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Through NOLA FOR LIFE’s GVRS and the MAG Unit, we are effectively leveraging resources and the expertise of federal, state and local law enforcement while partnering with members of the community to directly respond to those who have chosen a life of crime. We will continue to focus on keeping our citizens safe, reclaiming our neighborhoods, and offering opportunities to those who want to make better choices.”
The Multi-Agency Gang (MAG) Unit, formed by Mayor Landrieu in the fall of 2012, focuses additional resources on the groups of individuals who continue to commit acts of violence in our neighborhoods. As an integral component of the Group Violence Reduction Strategy, the MAG Unit consists of a partnership with New Orleans Police Department (NOPD); Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office (DA); Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office (OPSO);Louisiana State Police (LSP); Parole Board of the Louisiana Department of Corrections; United States Attorney’s Office (USAO); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); United States Marshal’s Service (USMS); and the United States Probation & Parole Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
In 2013, the MAG Unit has indicted 74 individuals from seven gangs as part of a coordinated multi-jurisdictional effort including the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s indictment of the 110’ers gang in a litany of violent crimes, including 10 murders and a 30 count racketeering indictment against 20 defendants of the 3-N-G gang who are responsible for at least 10 murders from October of 2008 to February 2013; the Federal 16-count drug indictment against seven members of the Allen family and the indictment of 12 alleged members of Ride or Die in the 9th Ward.
NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas said, “The 74 gang members arrested during the course of this year held their neighborhoods hostage. Mothers were afraid to let their kids play in their own yards. Some were afraid just to make a trip to the corner store. These gangs took away their neighbors’ freedom. But after intense investigations, the MAG Unit got these residents their freedom back, by arresting these offenders.” Next year, there will be more arrests and more indictments. Our momentum is strong, and we’re working together to make New Orleans a safer place.”
Today’s announcement followed the City’s fifth “call-in,” bringing in 159 individuals from 40 groups and gangs across the city. At a “call-in”, gang and group members who no longer wish to engage in violence are given the opportunity to make different choices for their life. For those who choose to stop the violence and accept support, there is a network of 15 service providers coordinated to provide jobs and education, housing, and mental health & substance abuse treatment.
Launched in May 2012, NOLA FOR LIFE is New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's comprehensive murder reduction strategy to tackle the city's historically high murder rate. Recognizing that law enforcement alone cannot solve the murder problem, NOLA FOR LIFE takes a holistic approach to get to the root of the problem, and implements initiatives in five main categories: Stop the Shooting; Invest in Prevention, Promote Jobs and Opportunity, Strengthen the NOPD, and Get Involved and Rebuild Neighborhoods.
For more information, visit www.nolaforlife.org and tune in to NOLA FOR LIFE original programming 24/7 on Cox Cable Channel 99.