On May 26, Mayor LaToya Cantrell joined other officials to mark the groundbreaking for the $25 million Criminal Evidence and Processing Facility, next to New Orleans Police Department headquarters in Mid-City.
“This is an exciting project, and one we have been waiting for for a mighty long time. We knew two months ago that while we were heading into the COVID-19 pandemic it would absolutely be a challenge. But that challenge would not stop our administration from moving infrastructure projects forward. That means fixing our streets, and that means creating better buildings,” said Mayor Cantrell.
Expected to be complete by next spring, the five-story, 64,000-square-foot facility will be used by NOPD evidence and processing, Criminal Clerk of Courts, and Municipal Court. The facility will also include a Crime Lab and DNA Lab with full service and regional support capabilities.
“Keeping this project moving is a No. 1 priority. Now that we have our own crime lab, we can position ourselves to be a true leader in modern-day policing,” said NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson.
“The addition of this state-of-the-art crime lab dramatically improves the performance of every single entity in the New Orleans criminal justice system. The lab will provide the space, tools and technology to properly tests and store critical evidence in criminal cases. The proper and safe storage of evidence is integral to the administration of justice. It’s relied on to determine guilt, innocence and foremost that the actual perpetrator of the crime is being prosecuted. This new facility bolsters our ability to adhere to national best practices, as well as constitutional mandates in the handling of our evidence which directly contributes to the public safety of all New Orleanians,” said Jason Williams, President, City Council; Chair, Criminal Justice Committee.
“We are holistically committed to making every aspect of life in New Orleans as best as it can be. This new facility will drastically improve a major component of our criminal justice system. This modern and efficient facility will help improve the quality of life for all of our citizens,” said Jay H. Banks, City Councilmember, District B.
“This new facility will allow officials more flexibility and will streamline operations across multiple functions for the city,” said Eddie Williams, FEMA Public Assistance Lead. “We are committed to supporting the city in its efforts to provide critical and vital services to ensure the public safety of New Orleans residents.”
About $22 million of the project was funded by the Federal Emergency Management Administration, while $3 came from Law Enforcement District Funds; the project is being overseen by the City’s Capital Projects Administration. Under the Cantrell Administration, the City’s investment to date totals $173 million.
This work is part of several completed public safety projects, which include:
- Criminal Court – interior renovations (two new court rooms), $12 million
- Orleans Parish Prison (3rd Floor) – docks renovation, $5.6 million
- Juvenile Justice Intervention Center – 28-bed addition, $17.4 million
- New Orleans Fire Department – Engine 36, $8.6 million
- NOPD – 2nd District Police Station, $8.3 million
Upcoming projects include:
- District Attorney Office Interior Renovations – $4.1 million
- Municipal & Traffic Court Renovations – $14 million (breaking ground in the fall)
- New NOFD Administration Headquarters – $4.5 million (breaking ground this summer)
- New NOPD 4th District (West Bank) Police Station – $9 million (breaking ground this summer)