Through all of the violence, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has been virtually silent. He has shown no leadership on the crime crisis and decided to focus on removing the city's confederate monuments. This has certainly been noticed by U.S. Senator David Vitter. In a speech at the Louisiana State Police, Vitter said, "Violent crime is out of control in the city of New Orleans and the top reason is lack of leadership in the city of New Orleans."
Of course, Vitter is right as Landrieu's leadership has been non-existent on the most important issue facing New Orleans. In fact, under Landrieu, the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) has deteriorated significantly. A police force that once boasted 1600 members now is barely above 1000, a number way too low in a city teeming with criminals.
In Vitter's view, the NOPD has declined due to Landrieu's poor leadership. He said, "I think his lack of leadership has let NOPD get to this point. We are going to have to pick up the slack. Unfortunately, that's not going to turn a corner immediately." Because of the NOPD's staffing woes, Vitter believes that the State Police needs to have a permanent presence in the French Quarter. This is certainly a popular stand with the Vieux Carre residents and merchants who have all too often been victimized by an ever increasing criminal element.
In response, Landrieu blasted Vitter as “part of the problem in Washington for over a decade.” As usual, the liberal Landrieu blames his woes on a lack of federal funding. He faults Vitter for being too partisan and “ineffective in delivering additional federal resources to local law enforcement agencies to fight crime.”
This Landrieu tactic is all too familiar. He never accepts responsibility for his actions and loves to cast blame on others for his own failings. The rise in violent crime in New Orleans is not due to a lack of federal funding. It is not Senator Vitter's fault as the responsibility rests solely with Mayor Landrieu.
Instead of pushing to remove confederate monuments or discussing global warming with Pope Francis in Rome, Landrieu should be focused on crime in New Orleans. Public safety should be his top priority and everything else should be secondary.
Congratulations to Senator Vitter for bringing attention to Landrieu's abysmal leadership on his issue. It is amazing that more citizens in New Orleans are not outraged about this horrific problem. There should be a massive protest about Landrieu being so derelict in his duties. Sadly, instead of rallies and irate phone calls besieging City Hall, most citizens seem to be complacent.
At least Senator Vitter is focusing on the critical problem of violence in New Orleans. Hopefully, it will awaken the people of New Orleans and encourage them to demand that their leaders take the crime problem seriously and stop focusing on trivia such as removing monuments that have stood in New Orleans for decades.
On Thursday, instead of hosting two high profile meetings on confederate monuments, it would be a much better use of time to devote those meetings to the crime problem. In New Orleans, monuments don't kill anyone, but criminals certainly do.