Residents hope state troopers will help thwart crime in Marigny

The Bourbon Street shooting that left a woman dead and nine others injured early Sunday, still weighed heavily on the minds of many in the French Quarter Wednesday afternoon – especially with the Essence Festival and Fourth of July festivities nearing.

"I think security needs to be boosted up as soon as people start coming to town," said Michael Harrington, a visitor from Raleigh, NC.

Gwen Pierce, also from Raleigh, said she's concerned.

"I don't know that I feel safe. I don't see that many police out here, but maybe tonight."

Meanwhile, just a few blocks over, Marigny residents met at Horn's Restaurant to talk about crime in their neighborhood.

"The Who Dat Café was broken into twice. The hardware store was broken into twice. My waitresses are scared to ride their bikes home," said Kappa Horn, the restaurant's owner.

Horn said someone burglarized her business two weeks ago.

"We want to know if the state police are coming in," she said. "How long are they going to come in? A police officer told us that they're probably going to be pulled out after Labor Day. Well that's not good enough."

State Police officials say they're here to help with patrols stretching into areas like the Marigny, Bywater and CBD, as well as any other places where the NOPD needs help. The biggest concentration of troopers will be assigned to the French Quarter and the Superdome.

Superintendent Mike Edmonson said they're here in larger numbers in response to the Bourbon Street shooting and they're working on plans to stay through the summer.

"Our job and our goal in support of the New Orleans Police Department is to make those people that want to visit here feel safe. But equally as important, is those individuals that live here, that work here, that own businesses here, they ought to feel safe too," he said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Mayor Mitch Landrieu is calling on the state to deploy 100 troopers to the city permanently.

Edmonson vows to help as much as he can, but said that request may be too costly.

"That's a large number to look at. To look at sustainability on a long term effort, I don't know that we can reach those numbers. Because, to do that, we would be pulling away from other areas, where statutorily, we're mandated to be in those areas," Edmonson said.

Edmonson said about 60 additional officers are in the city through the weekend. He also points out that, throughout the year, 45 troopers are assigned to New Orleans daily.

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