French Quarter officers keep a close eye on crime for Decadence

[Source: Jessica Shaw]
[Source: Jessica Shaw]

On Bourbon Street, thousands are in town for this year's Southern Decadence celebration.

"First time coming down here for Decadence. Mardi Gras was great so I'm looking forward to Decadence," said Rodrick Harris, who is visiting from Washington D.C. "I'm looking forward to meeting new people and new friends."

Those visitors also noticed a few changes in the French Quarter this time around.

"The street - we're on Toulouse and there was probably seven sheriff's cars and state police," said Helen Apostle from Chicago. "They were all watching the streets."

"I see a lot more of officers standing on street corners, watching everyone," said Harris.

The extra officers are part of an effort to cut down on violent crime in the Eighth District. Earlier this summer, a shooting on Bourbon Street injured nine and killed one woman. And just hours earlier Friday, two men were taken to the hospital when shots rang out in the 100 block of Rampart, just outside the French Quarter.

"Nothing was life-threatening," said NOPD Commander Jeff Walls of the Eighth District. "We do have two suspects we believe are the gunmen involved in the incident. They are in custody."

State Police were on the scene, too, following Thursday's announcement that troopers will continue patrolling the Quarter until November.

Good news for Chris Young with the French Quarter Business League. The group has been working for months to hire off-duty officers to provide extra security detail along parts of Bourbon Street. 

"We're grateful that State Police are staying because we couldn't get all those approval done by September 1," explained Young. "They have clearly created a safer environment for our employees. and for our customers, and for anyone else visiting the French Quarter."

While visitors FOX 8 talked to said the extra officers brought some peace of mind, others say crime concerns won't keep them away.

"I love this city," said Harris. "Never had a problem down here. I'm not looking for nothing, so I think it's safe."

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