TDD (202) 514-1888
Fact Sheet: Department of Justice Law Enforcement Efforts in New Orleans, Louisiana
The Department of Justice is committed to working in partnership with state
and local law enforcement and communities to combat violent crime. As part of
this effort, the Department has allocated additional resources to New Orleans
following Hurricane Katrina. Both new and existing programs and resources
include the following:
United States Attorney’s Office
- The Department of Justice has made more than $20 million available to
the city of New Orleans and Orleans Parish to help rebuild the criminal justice
system there. In total, the Department has made available to the state of
Louisiana over $61 million in justice assistance grants (JAG) and Katrina
relief law enforcement infrastructure funds.
- The Department will temporarily assign 10 attorneys to New Orleans to
assist the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Louisiana. These
attorneys will focus on prosecuting firearms, drug and immigration cases.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)
- The Department will hire nine additional Assistant U.S. Attorneys
(AUSAs) in the Eastern District of Louisiana. The AUSAs will be tasked with
assisting fraud and violent crime prosecutions.
- The ATF will assign four additional ATF Special Agents to New Orleans
to supplement the Violent Crime Impact Team (VCIT), which focuses on reducing
gun crime. With the addition of these agents, the VCIT initiative will be
staffed by 10 ATF Special Agents and six New Orleans Police Officers. These
Special Agents and task force officers identify and pursue recidivist offenders
who are considered the “worst of the worst” and who reside and operate in the
designated VCIT area. In addition, the VCIT jointly operates with the New
Orleans Police Department (NOPD) within the designated area during peak hours
of criminal activity.
Drug Enforcement Administration
- The ATF will relaunch the 24-hour ATF Gun Hotline which allows citizens
to report the illegal use and possession of firearms for federal response. The
hotline phone number (504-581-GUNS) will be advertised in public service
announcements throughout New Orleans.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force Group is comprised
of Drug Enforcement Agency agents working in partnership with detectives from
the NOPD. This group focuses exclusively on violent drug trafficking
organizations and violent offenders who have a prior criminal history involving
aggravated offenses as well as a direct nexus to drug trafficking within the
- The FBI, in partnership with federal, state, and local law enforcement,
has recently launched a Violent Crime Intelligence Initiative to gather
information on violent criminals. The initiative integrates intelligence from
law enforcement agencies and creates a mechanism to distribute this
intelligence to federal, state and local law enforcement in New Orleans and the
United States Marshals Service (USMS)
- The FBI currently operates the Violent Gang Safe Streets Task Force
which includes officers from the NOPD and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s
Office. The Task Force is staffed with 13 FBI special agents and 13 officers
from area police departments and sheriffs' offices and focuses on the most
violent subjects—whether associated with an organized gang or working in a more
loose-knit fashion with other subjects.
- The USMS will assign four additional Deputy Marshals to supplement the
Crescent Star Fugitive Task Force. The Crescent Star Fugitive Task Force
locates and arrests violent felony fugitives across 13 parishes in the Eastern
District of Louisiana, and includes representatives from the NOPD, the Orleans
Parish Criminal Sheriff’s Office, the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office,
Louisiana Probation and Parole, and the Coast Guard Investigative Services.
These Deputy Marshals will assist in targeting and apprehending sex offenders
and will prioritize violent offenders identified by the Crescent Star Fugitive
- The Crescent Star Fugitive Task Force supports the NOPD’s Violent
Offender Warrant Squad by conducting weekly fugitive round-ups on targeted
violators. The Crescent Star Fugitive Task Force is also assisting the
Louisiana Probation and Parole Department in tracking down more than two
thousand wanted probation and parole offenders, whose whereabouts are unknown
since Hurricane Katrina.
Office of Justice Programs (OJP)
- In addition, the USMS Technical Operations Group (TOG) will be made
available to assist and prioritize cases from the Crescent Star Fugitive Task
Force. The TOG provides the USMS, other federal agencies, and any requesting
state or local law enforcement agency with support in electronic surveillance,
aerial surveillance, communications, as well as analysis and intelligence,
related to fugitive investigations.
- The Justice Department will work with local law enforcement and the
National Police Athletic League (PAL) to establish a new PAL chapter in the
city for the children of New Orleans. The PAL chapter will be made possible by
a grant from the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance and Office
of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, which will also support the PAL
mission through technical assistance and other prevention resources that benefit
- The Department of Justice will provide funds and help establish Safe
Havens in the three New Orleans Weed and Seed Sites by the fall of 2006. Safe
Havens provide a secure recreation and learning environment for Weed and Seed
communities, keeping children off the streets and out of trouble.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of America will re-establish the clubs that were
destroyed by Hurricane Katrina with funding provided through the Bureau of
Justice Assistance and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.