Letter: Charity Trauma Service reason New Orleans murder rate dropped

In response to the recent article titled, “New Orleans murder total lowest in decades,” Ms. Galaforo calls 2013 “the least bloody year in decades for America’s one-time murder capital,” and I beg to differ. 2013 was a horrific year with bloodshed by innocent victims and, in particular, young children, at least 14 children, possibly more than any other year, which does not strike me as an improvement in violent crime or that the bloodbath does not continue in the city.

While the city does have many positive changes and programs in place, it is not responsible to allow Mayor Mitch Landrieu to claim that during his administration he was able “to ax the city’s rate of notorious killings” for the decrease in death resulting from gun violence. According to the article at the time of writing, the New Orleans Police Department was not able to provide the number of nonfatal shootings during the past year, which would provide a clearer picture of the actual crime that is still occurring and would show that in spite of all the new programs that have begun, the city has barely been able to stem the tide of violence.

Please give credit where credit is due, which is to the Spirit of Charity Trauma Service, at the LSU Interim Hospital.

Everyone who has lived in this city for the past 25 years has shared a common knowledge, which is, “If I get shot, stabbed or in a really bad car accident, get me to Charity Hospital,” which is the real story about why there is a drop in the number of murders. Combined with an extraordinary paramedic pre-hospital trauma life support care and a regional transportation system for critically injured, odds are greatly in favor of surviving a gunshot wound if it is not immediately fatal and you make it to the Spirit of Charity Trauma Service, which in 2013 had a 30 percent drop in deaths from gunshot wounds treated due to the ever-increasing knowledge and care provided. The Spirit of Charity Trauma Service is why there is a decrease in the city’s murder rate. In addition to all the positive programs, there should be more recognition for the work done at the Spirit of Charity Trauma Service and a commitment from the community to guarantee that residents continue to have access to a level-one trauma service.

D’Anne Aucoin


New Orleans