New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell today announced a major change to the city’s emergency response system that’s being hailed as the next step to further modernizing the Crescent City.
During a press conference streamed from Miami, Mayor Cantrell explained that due to the New Orleans Police Department’s manpower shortage, budget issues, high-yet-on-the-right-path crime rates, but, most of all, COVID-19, the city will soon be implementing a self-service 911 system.
Starting next year, if you need emergency assistance, you’ll be able to handle it all yourself. Once calling 9-1-1, the automated system will reroute your call back to your phone and appear as an incoming call on the other line. Once clicking over, you will be connected with yourself to figure out how best to proceed.
Cantrell says the vital move will ultimately save the struggling city money equivalent to a few dozen luxury trips around the world.
When residents expressed concern and outrage at the idea of 911 becoming self-serve, Mayor Cantrell reminded them that New Orleans is “The New Orleans is ‘The City of Yes,’ which means you cannot say no. Anyway, who knows the situation better than the caller who is literally there?”
Gentilly resident Willy Barnes, while alarmed by the announcement, said he isn’t surprised.
“Look, I’ve been living here my whole life and I kind of expected this,” Barnes said. “The only things that would surprise me nowadays would be Dennis Allen winning a Super Bowl, Zion playing an entire season, that heirloom pothole in front of my house being filled, and traffic lights working. Besides, has 911 (in Orleans) ever not been self-serve?”
The mayor assured worried residents that this move will not only help further modernize the city, it will also give them the incredible opportunity and privilege to serve the city they love.
“If we’re going to protect our culture as it relates to matching and exceeding what our advanced Sister Cities are doing, which I have seen and experienced firsthand, I have to make tough decisions like this that some people, HELENA, may not like, but it’s for the good of the future of our city, our children, our boos.”
When asked for comment, interim NOPD Superintendent Michelle Woodfork further tried to ease safety concerns by promising residents they have nothing to worry about.
“Change is almost always difficult. How we utilize 911 as a service may be changing with the times, but rest assured that residents will continue to experience the same great service they’ve come to rely on from the City of New Orleans. There will be no discernible difference once the new system is installed.”
When pressed for a rollout date for this major change to public safety, both the mayor and superintendent simply replied, “Ask the next guys.”
Overall, it’s clear that this move to modernize the city and position it as a world-class destination is exactly what New Orleans needs. Who needs actual safety when you can have the illusion of progress?