New Orleans Data Analyst Reports Significant Reduction in Murders for 2023, Cautions Against Attributing Decrease to Local Initiatives

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Murders in New Orleans saw a significant decrease in 2023 compared to previous years, according to data analyst Jeff Asher. The total number of killings dropped from 266 in 2022 to 193 in 2023, marking a noteworthy improvement.

Asher, who analyzes crime statistics for the New Orleans City Council, noted that the surge in crime following the coronavirus pandemic makes it challenging to attribute the decrease in murder solely to local crime-reduction initiatives. While the decrease is a positive development, Asher emphasized that it is still within the context of elevated murder rates in the years 2020 through 2022, which were the nation’s highest.

One of the major reasons for the reduction in crime in 2023, according to Asher, was the exceptionally low count of only five murders in December. This marked one of the lowest murder counts in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina. The city’s efforts to address crime have been further underscored by the hiring of Superintendent Anne Kirkpatrick, the first full-time female superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), following a period of interim leadership under Michelle Woodfork.

Despite the positive trend in murder reduction, the NOPD continues to face challenges, with approximately 900 officers currently on the streets, significantly below the ideal number of 1,500 officers for the city. Asher also pointed out that while the NOPD’s response time improved in the previous year, it remains difficult to attribute the reduction in crime to any specific local metric. The last time New Orleans had fewer than 200 murders was in 2019, which was before the pandemic, when the city saw a nearly 50-year low in murders, totaling 121.

In summary, the decrease in murders in New Orleans in 2023 presents a positive development amidst a challenging trend of elevated crime rates in the previous years. The city’s efforts to address crime and its impact on communities will continue to be a focal point for ongoing analysis and attention.