Gov. Landry’s Crime Session will Bring Regressive Rhetoric, Not Real Safety.

Royce Duplessis Louisiana State Senator District 5

To the people of New Orleans,

Despite evidence showing that crime continues to trend downward, Louisiana still has a persistently high crime rate. We all are working to solve that problem. My family and I live in a neighborhood that experiences higher rates of crime than most, and increasing public safety isn’t just rhetoric for me.

But sadly, this Special Session on Crime that has been called by Governor Jeff Landry will prohibit us from actually tackling the root causes of crime and will instead force us to yet again go down the road of being tough on crime but soft on actual safety. Dangerous proposals like authorizing the concealed carrying of weapons without a permit, even for 18-year-olds, will only make us less safe.

I recognize that Gov. Landry made a campaign promise during last year’s Gubernatorial Race that he would call a Special Session on Crime. Unfortunately, the call for the session was written so narrowly that it shuts off any opportunity to debate ideas that would improve the quality of life while also reducing crime and improving public safety.

I, along with several of my colleagues, believe we can do relatively simple things like expanding youth services and education; reducing blight and litter; and improving street lighting. We also believe in ideas that go deeper, like violence intervention and Trauma Response Programs; expanding mental health services; increasing access to housing; and reducing poverty. Notably, these proposals do not undermine necessary justice for victims and accountability for those who break the law.

Unfortunately, this special session will be a terribly missed opportunity, because we could have actually done a lot of things to prevent crime on the front end, instead of continuing to advance policies that do great for campaigns but do very little to actually prevent crime.

Sincerely,

Royce Duplessis

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