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Tight security planned for upcoming events

New Orleans, La. -- Tourists such as the Owens are already gearing up for a New Orleans-style New Year's Eve celebration.

"It's so much fun on New Year's Eve here so we got in today and we're here until New Year's Day to celebrate," says Annette Owen.

More than 50,000 people are expected to flood the city this weekend and the NOPD says they're ready to keep everyone safe. 

Starting Monday through Thursday, 300 additional officers will be in the 8th District, along with 16 Jefferson Parish deputies.  Five portable light towers also will be up and running to enhance crowd safety.  And state troopers will have a presence in the city.

"You will see extra patrols on the roads. You will also see extra patrols down in the French Quarter. We will be assisting the New Orleans Police Department with Sugar Bowl and as Super Bowl and Mardi Gras approaches, you will see extra patrols in and around the French Quarter areas," says Trooper Melissa Matey.

Security in and around the city will be tight for the New Year's celebration and then pick up again for the next big event, the Super Bowl.

"We have a plan that will provide 24-hour-a-day coverage of walking beats in the areas we think will be the most visited," says NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas.

Chief Serpas says districts outside of the French Quarter will remain fully staffed and officers will be working 12-hour shifts, starting the Wednesday before Super Bowl.

"You can go down Poydras Street, you can go down Canal or Loyola and you're going to see New Orleans police officers in their uniforms with their reflective vests on. We are retraining everybody in traffic control," says Serpas.

Locals and tourists alike welcome the extra security and the fun and excitement of being in New Orleans to experience the celebrations.

If you plan on heading downtown for New Year's Eve, expect to run into blocked roadways.

Decatur Street will be limited to one lane starting at 8:00 in the morning. Other streets in the area will close at 7:00 that night.

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