In February 2016 NOPD joined a network that offers access to innovative policing methods being utilized by some pretty prestigious law enforcement company.
The Violence Reduction Network (VRN) is a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and a consortium of cities that includes such locations as Chicago, Detroit, Nashville, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Oakland/Richmond, California, and Camden and Newark, New Jersey.
VRN offers resources and support to assist cities in their efforts to reduce violent crime and it is an innovative approach to support and enhance local violence reduction efforts. The program is a data-driven, evidence-based initiative that offers strategic, intensive training and technical assistance.
The program complements existing efforts that the NOPD is already implementing and provides the department with access to a broad spectrum of additional resources. The program operates under the assessment that violence reduction is not just a law enforcement issue but one that requires a holistic approach.
VRN provides the department with access to a network of practitioners across the country at Police Departments and the DOJ Bureau of Justice Assistance office. This means NOPD can access best practices from police departments across the country.
“Being part of the Violence Reduction Network means NOPD is able to gain access to experience and knowledge bases that we didn’t have before,” said Deputy Chief Paul Noel. “We can take the good things other agencies are doing and customize them for our own use and continuing to improve on the things we’re doing.”
VRN partners also receive training opportunities for leadership, federal law enforcement support, and technical assistance from subject-matter experts on a variety of topics. Agencies have the ability to participate in “peer exchanges” to help develop and implement new strategies and policy enhancements.
As part of the program, Deputy Chief Noel spent several days embedded with the LAPD. He came away impressed with how they approached their weekly meeting on crime and other department activities and when he returned to New Orleans, he and the district commanders were able to create and implement the department's new MAX program.
NOPD is utilizing VRN resources to address the city’s primary concerns, which include violent crimes – homicides, shootings, and armed robberies – as well as finding ways to expand community policing efforts and leadership development.
“VRN allows us to connect with subject matter experts and technical assistance we wouldn’t be able to access otherwise,” added Noel. “We’re finding new ways to do things but we’re not changing just to change – we’re changing things to make them better. These enhancements will have a long term impact on how NOPD operates.”