National Guard troops and state police will patrol the city through December, Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Saturday at a summit of law enforcement officials and crime experts called to address a spate of killings marring the recovery from Hurricane Katrina.
Police are on pace to recover as many illegal firearms this year as they did in the two previous years – even though half as many people live in the city now, said Robert Browning, an agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The summit opened hours after an early morning killing brought the city’s homicide count for the year to 100.
New Orleans, with a pre-Katrina population of 455,000, had virtually no crime in the months after the storm hit on Aug. 29, 2005, when the city was largely empty. That changed as the evacuees started returning. In April, murders began occurring regularly, sometimes in groups.
Dalai Lama urges teens to peace
The Dalai Lama urged thousands of teenagers at a world peace conference Saturday to keep open hearts, practice peace in their daily lives and accept people from all countries as neighbors and collaborators, not rivals.
“There are no national boundaries. The whole globe is becoming one body,” he said at the PeaceJam convention. “In these circumstances, I think war is outdated. … Destruction of your neighbor is actually destruction of yourself.”
War creates environmental problems, trade gaps and humanitarian suffering that everyone must bear, he said, speaking at the convention, which brought together 10 Nobel Peace Prize laureates.
PeaceJam participants – teens assembled from 31 countries – opened their first day of lectures and interactive sessions with laureates at the University of Denver.