Fifty state troopers and public safety officers will help law enforcement in New Orleans through Labor Day. Governor Bobby Jindal signed off on the plan Thursday.
Officers in the Crime Prevention Unit spent the evening walking up and down seven blocks of Bourbon Street handing out information and pamphlets. Many of the bars have more information to give anyone looking to help, stop or call in a crime. Those who witnessed the chaos after Sunday's shooting said the police presence is welcomed.
"A lot of screaming, a lot of chaos and a lot of really good people got hurt," said Pierce Kirkpatrick, a bartender on Bourbon Street. "Last weekend, I'm trying to forget about and it's a new week. We should try to take care of each other."
Police officers hand out pamphlets and speak with customers at bars up and down Bourbon Street.
"They gave me some tips on how to stay safe, some literature to pass out to our guests and co-workers - safety, scheduling and a neighborhood watch type," said Kirkpatrick.
Kirkpatrick said the crime prevention information is welcome.
"It makes me very happy to see them doing this, it makes me feel safe," he said.
According to a NOPD spokesperson, the department has budgeted $300,000, allowing them to have 500 officers work through the weekend.
Creating a stronger presence, they are available to answer visitor questions and concerns.
Along with the NOPD, state police line Bourbon Street. Louisiana State Police Col. Mike Edmonson says Gov. Bobby Jindal will redeploy 50 state troopers and public safety officers to help the NOPD through Labor Day in whatever capacity is needed.
Though the mayor had hoped the governor would send 100 troopers to help with law enforcement in New Orleans permanently, he said:
"The additional support today is a step in the right direction and we are hopeful that Governor Jindal will permanently assign additional state troopers to our city."
For the weekend, tourists and locals alike have noticed the increased law enforcement presence.
"Yea, I feel safe and I feel welcome," said Jordan Thompson. "I feel protected and I feel safe."
The crime prevention unit officers that were working Thursday are part of the additional Essence Fest coverage. The unit makes similar informational trips down Bourbon and nearby streets throughout the year.