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Feds target violent crime in New Orleans

By Kevin Johnson

NEW ORLEANS — The federal government is in the midst of an unprecedented intervention into the local criminal justice system here, adding more than 40 agents and prosecutors to regain some basic daily operations lost to Hurricane Katrina nearly two years ago.

The effort comes as the city's violent crime increased 107% the first quarter of this year over the same time in 2006, according to the New Orleans Police Department. Superintendent Warren Riley said the increase is not an accurate measure but merely reflects the return of thousands of residents who had abandoned the city because of Katrina. Riley pointed out that crime is slightly down when compared with the last quarter of 2006.

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