French Quarter Citizens President: Mayor "not grasping the depth" of crime problem

"She's missing the boat in talking about something that will really solve some of the problems that we have here and across the city."
Mayor LaToya Cantrell
Photo credit WWL

Criticism of Mayor LaToya Cantrell continues one day after her press conference discussing changes she wants to make in the police department.

Now, some of that criticism is coming from French Quarter Citizens.

"I don't think she's really grasping the depth of the problem," Glade Bilby, president of French Quarter Citizens, told WWL's Tommy Tucker.

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Bilby says it's time that she recognizes the problem does what it takes to rebuild the NOPD.

"To allow people to have shorts or longer hair or wear a particular nail polish is not going to do anything to the morale of the police department and the actual consent decree obligations," Bilby said.

Bilby says the French Quarter is relatively safe because of the extra security in the district. However, he says crime in other parts of the city is having an impact on the French Quarter because people are afraid of being victims.

"We're having less people  during the week," Bilby said. "We're having less tourists during the week.

"If you look at some of the numbers from the Metropolitan Crime Commission, the Quarter is relatively safe by comparison to the rest of the city," Bilby added. "What happens in Gentilly, Lakeview, New Orleans East, (and) Algiers, it afffects everybody's attitude in the entire city.

Bilby says  Mayor Cantrell and other city leaders need to take substantive measures to truly help the police department build morale amongst officers and to fight crime effectively.

"Helping with the police department--making the police department a better place to work and not making it so onerous to be a policeman--would be helpful all over the place," Bilby said. "She's missing the boat in talking about something that will really solve some of the problems that we have here and across the city."