On a number of measures, black perceptions of the quality of life in New Orleans have improved over the past few years. Blacks are less negative about how things are going in the City, are more optimistic about the City's future, and have more trust in City Hall. Three factors are probably responsible for these positive changes, the tremendous popularity of Mayor Marc Morial, the improved image of the police, and the slightly more optimistic economic outlook of black residents. The police are more highly regarded by black voters than they have been through most of the past ten years. The majority of black residents, however, still believe that crime is increasing (despite statistical evidence to the contrary), and a large proportion do not feel safe around their homes. More black residents support the "catch and punish criminals" approach to dealing with crime than support the "social problems" approach. Hearing gunfire at night is a regular event for forty percent of black residents, and this experience colors other crime and safety perceptions. Hearing gunfire on a regular basis is geographically dispersed throughout most of the black and mixed areas of the city.
Howell, Susan E. and Lee, Silas, "Black Attitudes in New Orleans: Crime, Safety and the Quality of Life" (1997). Survey Research Center Publications. Paper 27.