Sunday, January 29, 2017

Worst practices

This is how the 3 am closures happened. Mitch's staff was tasked to put together a "security plan" so that the mayor could respond to political pressure from the Attorney General and others. (We wrote about tbe politics of all this the other day) So staff went around and collected a list of "quality of life" complaints made over the years by various groups with different agendas. Every discarded prudish, paranoid, and even racist suggestion offered previously by business owners, neighborhood groups, religious activists, and anti-crime petitioners in their occasional fits of pique found its way in.

Then, staff went out and did the obligatory "best practices" survey that always goes into these reports because the goal of any professionally run city is just to do what other cities do. Even when this process turns up policies that make no sense here, they're inevitably shoehorned in anyway. This is why the bars are "closing" but not closing at 3am now. 
Landrieu press secretary Erin Burns said in a statement that requiring bars to close their doors after 3 a.m. "is one piece of our larger, $40 million public safety improvement strategy that is designed to address the issue as a whole" and that was arrived at "after consulting with several security experts and local stakeholders as well as analyzing the practices of other cities."

Burns said most of the other cities studied "completely close (bars) at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m., and many of the security experts we consulted suggested that we do the same," but she added that New Orleans "is a 24-hour city, and we do not feel that closing bars completely would be appropriate for the authenticity of our unique culture."
Other cities close. But we don't close. But their experts said we should close. We don't want to close but we're gonna kind of close anyway because... experts and best practices... and hey we typed up this whole report, see?

The result is kind of a "worst of" compilation of rejected proposals from local cranks mashed together with bastardized versions of imported policies all of which somehow forms The Way We Move Forward with our $40 million.  What does any of it have to do with reducing violent crime? That's even less clear.
The Advocate analyzed NOPD records on the more than 404,000 incidents that garnered a police response in 2016, determining when they occurred and how close they were to the roughly 1,500 businesses with a license to sell alcohol.

Those businesses include both bars and establishments like grocery stores and restaurants that likely would be closed by 3 a.m. but that also would be covered by the changes the Landrieu administration is proposing.

The analysis shows that less than 1 percent of all crimes in the city occur within 150 feet of a bar between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. And of those, fewer than a fifth were on Bourbon Street, the area that would likely be most affected by the proposed changes.
Mostly the idea here is that we be seen doing something regardless of what that thing is. This way the next city's politically pressured staff will have ideas to crib for their knee-jerk reaction reports too. Gotta keep the circle of bullshit going.

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