City Archives
New Orleans Public Library
New Orleans (La.) Police Dept.
Arrest Records,1881-1966

The New Orleans Police Department's arrest records for the years 1881-1966 were entered into bound volumes. Separate volumes were used by each police precinct/district.

All or some of the following data is provided for each arrest recorded in these volumes:

  • Name of arrestee
  • Residence address
  • Color
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Nationality of arrestee and of arrestee's parents
  • Occupation
  • Marital status
  • Read or write?
  • Complaint
    In some instances only a reference to a section in the Louisiana Revised Statutes or to a New Orleans city ordinance is entered here.
  • Place of arrest
  • Complainant
  • Officer(s) making arrest
  • Date of arrest
  • Disposition
    Individual entries may be to a District Attorney's affidavit number, to a simple "dollars/days" sentence, or to a dismissal/refusal of charges.

Many entries also include references to releases or paroles of the arrested individuals, including the name of the party who arranged the release or parole. By 1950, each entry also includes a reference to the appropriate "item number" for the offense report associated with the individual arrest. Separate "drunk books" were used to record arrests of inebriated offenders during the years 1951-1966.

The volumes for 1881-1959 are available only on microfilm. The Archives has the original record books for the years 1960-1966, but semi-restricted microfilms are available and their use is required. Arrests by the Homicide Division, 1955-1962) and the Tactical Unit (1961-1967) also are recorded in separate volumes. Ask a member of the Archives staff for assistance in using these volumes (which are not available on microfilm) and the 1960-1966 microfilms.

Unfortunately, the arrangement of the record books on microfilm is far from perfect. Ideally, the volumes should have been filmed in chronological order by precinct/district. That appears to have been done for the earlier records, but the system broke down at some point and the later films are arranged chaotically at best. There is a microfilmed "index" to the arrest books, however, that is useful in tracking down volumes that cannot be located by searching throught the microfilms themselves. Filed under call number TP100, this is a film of index cards arranged chronologically by precinct/district. Each card indicates the microfilm roll number on which the corresponding volume appears. This film also serves to identify missing volumes.


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9/10/1998--we