News & Information from the New Orleans Police Department

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NOPD Holds First Innovation Lab to Address Juvenile Crime

by Gary S. Scheets

September 12, 2019

Categories: Community

Topics: Community Policing, Partnerships

NOPD Holds First Innovation Lab to Address Juvenile Crime

In keeping with NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s mission to proactively address the juvenile crime in our city, NOPD held the first-of its-kind innovation lab – that brought together business, government, and community leaders to develop solutions that can be quickly implemented to tackle this complex challenge.

The goal of the innovation lab is to create a more holistic approach to address juvenile crime in New Orleans. Designed and facilitated by SMALLIFY - a rapid innovation firm based in Silicon Valley skilled in unlocking and accelerating innovation in organizations, communities and people.

“While it is NOPD’s responsibility to do our part, we must take a holistic approach and work together with all of our criminal justice partners to really address this problem and seek real solutions,” Ferguson said.

The innovation lab is fast-paced, with an emphasis on creating solutions that can be tested and implemented immediately.

Ferguson cited Summer Curfew enforcement and an example of how a different approach in partnership with local institutions, can begin to lead to a positive outcome.

“That wasn’t an effort to lock up our juveniles out past curfew. Instead, we used it as an opportunity to make a positive interaction with our juveniles, and their parent or guardian,” Ferguson said. “With the help of the Covenant House — together, we saw positive results.”

There were very few cases where a parent or guardian could not be located. And when one could not be found, we made sure these kids had shelter, food and a safe place to sleep, Ferguson said.

The event held at GNO, Inc.’s large conference room in the Energy Centre, featured leaders from NOPD, the City of New Orleans, local businesses, and community groups.

The lab was sponsored by FUSE Corps (a nonprofit organization that enables local government to more effectively address the biggest challenges facing urban communities). There is no cost to the city for the event. GNO, Inc. provided their conference room and the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation provided lunch for participants.