Nagin seeks extension for New Orleans security
BATON ROUGE, La. – Mayor Ray Nagin said Monday that he wants the National Guard and state police to stay in New Orleans through the end of the summer to help fight crime, though he’ll need a fresh commitment from Gov. Kathleen Blanco.Nagin wants Blanco to keep the 60 state troopers and 300 National Guardsmen in the city past the June 30 deadline to help the depleted police department patrol the streets of hurricane- and crime-devastated New Orleans.”If we get through this summer, and we get through it in pretty good shape, I think we can start to wean off of the National Guard and particularly the state troopers,” Nagin told reporters after a speech to the Press Club of Baton Rouge.A Blanco spokeswoman said the governor has not determined whether to extend the deadline.”Closer to that time, the governor will re-evaluate the situation with Mayor Nagin … to discuss what the needs are,” spokeswoman Marie Centanni said.Three people were fatally shot in the city over the weekend, the first killings in about two weeks, city police spokeswoman Bambi Hall said. The city has had 40 killings this year, she said.Its rate of 96 killings per 100,000 people give it the highest homicide rate in the nation, according to a Tulane University study.