Newell: WHO matters versus WHAT matters

NOPD car

It’s been said time and again that we should be able to do two things at the same time. Can we?

Disproportionate impact, over-incarceration and allegations that the criminal justice system is fraught with systemic racism has not only defined, but painted the picture of the “who matters” landscape. Meanwhile, “what matters” lurks in the shadows of political discourse relegated to “lesser status” and for the most part has yet to be defined.

A recently released Harvard CAPS/Harris poll reveals that 77% of respondents are concerned that crime is rising in major cities. Also of note, 46% expressed concerns about crime in the place they call home.

Well, there it is! The public has defined “what matters.” Safety and security of our families brought about by law and order. What matters rises to an equal status with “who matters.” I must say… it’s about time.

The level of lawlessness in some communities is so severe that its residents have joined together to patrol their neighborhoods. And, yes, some are armed!

Rafael Goyeneche, President of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, joined me today to discuss the crime picture in New Orleans. Unfortunately, the statistics are not good. Homicides and shootings are up. Felony arrests, however, are down, and are approaching an historic low.