Friday, July 18, 2008

National Guard still in New Orleans

Speaking of the National Guard, I wasn't aware that the Louisiana National Guard is still on patrol in New Orleans.

It's been nearly three years since Hurricane Katrina's floodwaters devastated parts of New Orleans.

And to this day, the National Guard continues to patrol some of the hardest-hit areas.

The guard's mission is to prevent looting and provide a law and order.

The Guard will stay in the city at least until the end of the year following Gov. Bobby Jindal's decision to extend its tour of duty.

Given the conditions three years ago it was completely understandable, even required, that armed troops were required.

I was surprised that the Guard was still present, but apparently at least some of the citizens of New Orleans want the Guard to remain:

However, Jeffery is one of many residents with an ever-growing concern... that National Guard troops will leave by the end of September. "They actually look after us and they answer our calls. They are the ones we kind of expect when we make a call," says Jeffery.

The Ninth Ward is slowly rebuilding. But Chambliss says that rebuilding and growth may stop if the National Guard troops are taken out. Crime may come back. He says, "Theft, burglary, some assaults and a number of murders have happened."

That's why Jeffery and others with the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association, Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, and Silence is Vviolence are petitioning Ggovernor Bobby Jindal to keep the troops here. "Since they're working, why take them away? Why not just add to what they have and then take them away?"

Perhaps New Orleans still isn't capable of dealing with the situation. Or the population doesn't consent to be governed.

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