VIDEO: Crime Up, Arrests Down as New Orleans Faces Severe Officer Shortage

A new report on the New Orleans Police Department shows that a recent uptick in violent crime has come amid a dramatic decrease in the number of arrests. And both trends seem to be fueled by depleted troop strength.

The study by the Metropolitan Crime Commission shows that violent crime increased by 27 percent from 2013 to 2015, based on Uniform Crime Reports that the NOPD submitted to the FBI.

During an overlapping period from 2013 to 2016, overall arrests dropped 44 percent, although arrests for violent crime only decreased by 16 percent.

Major factors in the decrease in arrests has been a steep decline in traffic and narcotics enforcement. Several years ago, the NOPD was forced to disband its district narcotics units due to a shortage of officers. Traffic was cut to the bare enforcement essentials.

“Traffic and drug enforcement have gone off a cliff. There's virtually none,” MCC President Rafael Goyeneche told WWL TV. “When you don’t have proactive policing, you don’t have officers engaging with some of the offenders until they commit violent crimes.”