New Orleans might reduce traffic offense arrests

Published 3:09 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A proposal headed to the full New Orleans City Council would discourage police officers from making arrests for most traffic offenses.

Police Superintendent Michael Harrison says booking people into jail takes officers off the street for at least an hour. The proposal would have nearly all traffic offenses, barring the most serious, handled through citations, and officers would decide whether to jail or simply fine people without valid driver’s licenses.

The change would bring New Orleans Police in line with Louisiana State Police and other agencies.

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The New Orleans Advocate reports the council’s Criminal Justice Committee unanimously approved the proposal Monday, which members said would free officers to focus on high-priority matters. The bill was inspired by the arrest of a former city councilman this year.