NEW ORLEANS - Council Vice President Jason Williams has released the following statement in response to a recently-posted Advocate article quoting him on the subject of car burglaries:
"I read the recent article by Dan Fagan and, respectfully, found the headline to be intentionally misleading. It is certainly not my position that vehicle burglaries are a mere inconvenience or nuisance. The article correctly included my long-standing position on car burglaries: "New Orleans councilman Jason Williams this week described the vehicle break-in spree to WDSU television as 'the No. 1 thing burdening our citizens right now."
It is absurd, however, that my clear stance on the issue is completely left out of the title. I have dedicated numerous Criminal Justice Committee meetings to this pressing problem, and I have attended several community meetings across the city, endeavoring to combat this problem over the past year.
I am, in fact, a victim of car burglaries myself. These crimes are costly and disruptive to our days, but they also make us feel less safe, and as we've seen, can lead to very dangerous confrontations. This is why I will continue to examine the issue and best practices to reduce them.
Based on the data, it is clear that it is, in fact, a small number of repeat offenders that are plaguing our residents. This means it is a 'manageable' number. I think we have the ability to, and we will tamp it down.
I have been working with my colleagues and other agencies to develop tools and strategies to attack the problem. One of those tools that we have been working diligently to bring back is the electronic monitoring program for use in situations where judges choose to release an alleged perpetrator. The latest technology is state of the art and can be deployed in a way that protects the community and monitors the arrested subject 24 hours a day in real-time. I will continue to push the launch of this tool in the first quarter of this year. I am also looking at how our Real-Time Crime Center infrastructure can be utilized most effectively for faster response time for car burglaries.
Neighborhoods across the city have come together to do their part, and I remain committed to doing the same. The tactic used in this headline is from a familiar playbook that seeks to prey upon the real fears of our people to prop up an otherwise fallacious argument. I won't allow this to deter real work happening in the city to fix this problem.
Finally, I am at a complete loss as to why the writer chose to introduce monuments into a discussion about car burglaries."
Councilmember Jason Roger Williams, At-Large