Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Do-It-Yourself Policing

New Orleans, crime, police, Common Sense, illustration

While crime was plummeting throughout the country, last year New Orleans experienced a surge — rapes up 39 percent and armed robberies up 37 percent.

Having reduced its police force by 500 officers due to budget problems, the Big Easy called in Louisiana State Troopers to assist a force “historically mired in corruption.” Yet, there was scant progress in keeping citizens safe.

Then crooks broke into Sidney Torrez’s home and Torrez, known as the “trash king” because he made a fortune hauling trash out of the city after Hurricane Katrina, responded with a $100,000 television ad campaign. “The French Quarter is under siege by criminals,” his TV spot declared; it encouraged citizens to “hold the administration accountable.”

Mayor Mitch Landrieu wasn’t pleased, shooting back that, “If it’s so easy, maybe [Torrez] should just take some of that money and do it himself.”

So, Torrez did, teaming up with Bob Simms, a retired aerospace engineer.

In no time, they developed a downloadable app for smartphones, allowing folks to contact police much like we use Uber to contact a car ride. Torrez donated $500,000 and the Batman and Robin-esque duo hired off-duty policemen outfitted with Polaris golf carts to patrol the French Quarter, the city’s “golden goose.”

Other private donations arrived to support the effort. In just months, crime dropped 45 percent in the Quarter. Now the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau is paying the monthly cost.

Torrez notes that the effort allows “the community a way to self-police,” adding, “I think it can work anywhere.”

“It’s not rocket science,” says Bob Simms . . . the former rocket scientist.

It’s citizen-led government.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

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New Orleans, crime, police, Common Sense, illustration


By: CS Admin


  1. JFB says:

    Commonly lost in seeking increasing inefficient and hyper inflated governmental services, even as basiic as security and education, is the fact evey one of them (with the exception of continental/global wars) were not the invention of the government, but were once privately provided until they were usurped by the government. 
    A return to private provision for needs, and communal (as opposed to governmental) cooperation and control of them, is refreshing.
    It may well be the correct non-public policy for the future in many sectors. 

  2. Pat says:

    There should be a corresponding drop in taxes, since the city is providing fewer services. Just wondering: is the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau pulicly or privately financed?

  3. drrik says:

    Never a function of the government to provide security, only to administer consequences. 

    • JFB says:

      Very good point. Of course security cannot be actually provided by the government, and such would too much burden, responsibility and liability for it, never minding the fact that universal crime prevention is actually impossible. Feigning security is being provided is among the great governmental lies.
      Crime prevention is for the rich and powerful – indeed mostly governmental “leaders”, with their security teams. That does not prevent crime, but only shifts it to others not as the “protected”. Because of this the rich and political leaders come to belief there is no crime problem, that self-defense is not necessary, or even illegitimate. (Some are not so deluded, and it is rumored Reagan carried a .38.)
      Reality is self-defense is the only real alternative to victimization available to the ordinary citizen. The larger the percentage of the citizens who are capable of self-defense, the greater the risk to the criminal and, therefore, the lower the crime rate as the cost/benefit ratio shifts. While I would prefer a security team, I cannot afford one. I am therefore likely to insist on my right to follow President Reagan’s example.

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