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Murders down, arrests up in New Orleans

The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS- New Orleans officials are claiming success in reducing the city's violent crime rate, one month after getting help with patrols from the National Guard and state police.

Arrests in some crime-plagued neighborhoods have almost doubled since the arrival of the reinforcements on June 20, and the number of murders has been cut nearly in half, according to the statistics police released this week.

During the 30 days before the deployment, there were 21 murders in the city. From June 20 until July 19, there were 11 killings.

Deputy Police Chief John Bryson called the results "remarkable."

The National Guard was sent to patrol largely deserted, flooded-out areas where looting was still a problem. Bryson said special police task forces, assembled from the ranks of those flooded-out districts, were reassigned to work beats in the troubled streets of some repopulated neighborhoods that have grown increasingly violent. Bryson credits those task forces with the increase in arrests and decrease in killings.

In four weeks before the federal troops and state police arrived, there were 230 felony arrests, 90 misdemeanor arrests and 156 narcotics arrests in two of the city's most troubled districts, according to statistics provided by New Orleans police. From June 18 to July 19, there were 359 felony arrests, 248 misdemeanor arrests and 199 narcotics arrests in the same districts.

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