Mayor Cantrell pledges to tackle crime during swearing in

Mayor Latoya Cantrell was inaugurated for a second term outside Gallier Hall on Monday January...
Mayor Latoya Cantrell was inaugurated for a second term outside Gallier Hall on Monday January 10, 2022 before a small audience due to COVID-19.(Source: WVUE)
Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 5:30 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2022 at 5:50 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Mayor Latoya Cantrell took the oath of office for her second term before an intentionally smaller crowd outside Gallier Hall due to the ongoing pandemic. Cantrell says she is ready and committed to solving the city’s lingering problems.

Cantrell was sworn in by her father-in-law Judge Harry Cantrell and her daughter held the Bible on which her left hand was placed during her recitation of the oath.

In a mainly upbeat speech, Cantrell did not ignore the city’s violent crime problem.

“Our people remained resilient and because of that we are on a rise, we are on a rise right now our time is now. This administration is engaging with all aspects in so many ways with our criminal system to make New Orleans is safer and I know without a doubt that the best is yet to come,” said Cantrell.

And following her prepared remarks she told members of the media that the 2022 city budget reflects her commitment to fighting crime.

“That budget is a reflection of the values that my administration has for public safety but also understanding that public safety is not just rooted in what the New Orleans Police Department does. We just recently heard that jury trials have been discontinued until March of this year, that will have impacts across the board,” said Cantrell.

During her inaugural address, Cantrell also spoke of expanding economic development.

More: New Orleans council swears in new faces, political veterans

“Today was a classic economic development speech in moving the city forward and making sure the city continues to punch in a much higher weight class than a city of 400,000 people,” said Fox 8 Political Analyst Mike Sherman.

Cantrell also mentioned being in the company of heavyweight entrepreneurs during an overseas trip as she spoke to a small gathering of invited guests and family members.

“Mentioning the likes of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and she focused on industries that she thinks can help propel New Orleans for the next century,” said Sherman.

As the pandemic continues Dillard University political analyst Robert Collins, Ph.D., said challenges will persist during the mayor’s final term.

“I think the mayor is going to run into the same structural challenges that faced in her first term, so she’s going to have issues with the budget even though the budget is being supplemented with a lot of federal money we are still not collecting the same amount of tax revenue that’s coming in because of the economy being stunted by the pandemic,” said Collins.

He said beefing up the New Orleans Police Department will be easier said than done.

‘It’s very difficult to recruit new officers, so you’re going to continue to have a staffing problem, a law enforcement problem,” said Sherman.

Cantrell will have a work with a majority new, New Orleans City Council. And she said she is ready to work with the legislative branch of city government.

“I don’t have a luxury in not wanting to work with people, my luxury is grounded and rooted in wanting to work with people,” said Cantrell.

But some of the council members are thought to have mayoral aspirations.

“She’s going to be dealing with a very independent city council that’s going to be more interested in advancing their agenda rather than simply promoting the mayor’s agenda,” said Collins.

Still, Collins said crime is on citizens’ minds as they look to the mayor and city council for solutions.

“Crime is the number one issue right now if you look at all the polling data with the public,” said Collins.

Cantrell says she is committed to working with regional and of course, federal officials to move the city forward.

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