Amid surging homicides in New Orleans, this woman is often one of the first on scene

Sometimes the sadness gets too much for Tamara Jackson, a victim advocate in a city known as the nation’s murder capital.

“I just have to shut down my emotions,” Jackson said. “If you don’t, I’m emotionally drained, and I have to make myself valuable and useful to the next family.”

Victim advocate Tamara Jackson is often among the first to respond to homicide scenes and serves as a liaison between investigators and victims’ families. (Fox News Digital)

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More than 50 people have been killed. New Orleans So far this year. Three dead in one. Car chase and shootout. A 15-year-old girl was shot through a wall. During sleep. There were two siblings. Shot at an intersection. Less than a year later, his younger brother was also shot dead.

Jackson works for the coroner’s office and is sent to as many murder scenes as she can get to. She comforts victims’ loved ones and helps guide them through the legal system.

He said that there is a need to remove their grief and trauma. “And I’m a physician. So even though I’m responding, I’m also able to do that crisis intervention when it’s needed most.”

Jackson knows what it’s like to be in the shoes of victims’ families — her own father was murdered nearly 23 years ago.

“I was one of those people,” she said. “So I hate to say that I understand, because every situation is different … but I have some working knowledge of how it can happen, because I felt that way.”

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Violent crime has risen dramatically in New Orleans over the past few years. The city had Most murders per capita Among America’s major cities in September, it briefly earned the title of murder capital of the nation. Just three years ago, New Orleans recorded its lowest number of fatalities – 119 – in nearly half a century.

“We don’t have the population that we had before Katrina, and we still experience tragedy in the aftermath,” Jackson said. “The violence is still going on and people are still dying.”

Grieving families may have questions. crime Jackson said police could not respond. She sees her work as bridging the gap between the two main contributors to the investigation.

“I can gather information from families and share it with law enforcement, and vice versa,” she said. “Families are key allies because they know. [the victim]good or bad.”

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Jackson is also the executive director of Silence by Violence, a community organization founded in 2007 in New Orleans to promote safety and youth engagement.

He said that he has built valuable relationships within himself. Law enforcement That he didn’t have 16 years ago. But they also face bureaucratic hurdles when working with the government. Jackson said his brief stint with the Mayor’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention was put on hold during a funding freeze.

“The community will go there before the law is enforced,” he said. “So we need to build stronger communities, healthier communities.”

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On a good day, there’s no carnage for Jackson to answer for. These days are becoming fewer and farther between.

“I’ve had days where we had six. [homicides]and we’re all moving the same people from scene to scene,” he said. “We don’t have enough people where we can send in and have a whole new crew respond.”

Tamara Jackson, left, considers herself a liaison between law enforcement and victims' families in New Orleans.

Tamara Jackson, left, considers herself a liaison between law enforcement and victims’ families in New Orleans. (Tamara Jackson)

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Jackson has a ritual after dealing with a particularly difficult scene. She would sit in her SUV, take a minute to breathe, and pray.

But another family is waiting, so once she’s recharged and ready to give the job “110% again,” Jackson shifts her car into drive and heads to the next crime scene. leads to where she will be reunited with the coroner and homicide detective.

And they will do it all over again.

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