NEW ORLEANS — Law enforcement agencies from across the metro area, as well as U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite, went door-to-door in New Orleans East on Saturday to hand out information on the penalties of gun crimes in school zones.
The group started at Dolores T. Aaron School, and Polite was joined by the ATF, New Orleans Police Department and the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office as part of the initiative.
“Federal law makes it an offense to possess a firearm within a 1,000 feet of a school, so we wanted to get the word out to the community about this work,” Polite said.
It can be a bit unnerving to open your door to find law enforcement there unannounced, but this was just a friendly reminder.
Federal laws show a penalty of at least $5,000 and no more than five years in prison for having a gun in a school zone illegally.
This area of the 7th District has seen a rise in gun activity, so Polite wanted to send a crucial reminder.
“This is the second time we have focused on a school here in New Orleans East, and certainly has been an area that has suffered from a lot of crime over a long period of time,” Polite said.
Not only does this serve as a warning, but also as a way for residents to get involved with keeping other neighbors safe.
Constance Hester with the ATF said this is a good time to meet the community on a lighter note.
“One of the things that is very important to for the community is to know we want to not only be reactive, but proactive,” she said. “We also want to build a better relationship with the community.”
They are hoping residents will not only report gun crime, but also stand against it.