The New Orleans Police Department has a new way of engaging with the community: by holding what they term “front porch roll calls.”
The roll calls — where officers gather before their shift and discuss the day’s objectives — will happen in public areas where members of the community can show up, watch and ask questions. The department plans to hold them each month.
It’s not only about increasing transparency but also gives officers a chance to ask citizens key questions about incidents in high-crime areas.
The most recent roll call was held on February 12 at Henry Clay Avenue and Camp Street in light of several carjackings in the area.
“You could see from today the amount of turnout; it created a dialog between officers and the citizens,” Lieutenant Ryan Lubrano told 4WWL. “We got a lot of good questions.”
Some citizens just wanted to show their support for what the police do.
One of those was Jeanie Keck, whose daughter was held at gunpoint outside her home and had her car stolen.
“They got into her car, they took away her computer, her purse, everything,” Keck said. “We’re all shook up. He put a gun to her face.”
Keck credited the quick response from officers.
“I want to thank (NOPD),” Keck said. “The day my daughter was carjacked, four police cars showed up and stayed with us.”
Dozens of neighbors also joined officers on a peace walk to show their support for law enforcement in the face of a recent crime wave.
New Orleans City councilman Joe Giarruso said that saying thank you goes a long way.
“It’s important for the officers to understand that people have their support. Also, to hear thank you. For people in public service frequently when you’re a police officer, a firefighter, EMS, you don’t get that gratification back.”
NOPD said they would determine the location of future “front porch rolls calls” based on crime trends.