State trooper mission coming to an end, but they're not leaving, - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

State trooper mission coming to an end, but they're not leaving, chief says

For nearly four months, Louisiana State Police troopers have patrolled city streets, with their presence most keenly felt on Bourbon Street.

Since July, they have answered more than 3,500 calls for service and made more than 900 arrests. Their mission, though, of patrolling the French Quarter and surrounding neighborhoods will come to an end after the busy Halloween weekend.

“Over $1 million in street value of drugs were taken off the street in the French Quarter and lower Marigny area. We also seized 900,000 of narcotic-related currency,” said Col. Mike Edmondson.

Edmondson wants to make it clear that state troopers are not leaving New Orleans. In fact, he said dozens will continue their normal work in the city.

“I have 44 troopers on a daily basis that work in the city of New Orleans, whether they are on task forces, narcotics units or gaming units,” he said.

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said he'd like to see the troopers patrol the city's interstates and highways, using something called the LACE or Local Agency Compensated Enforcement program.

“Look, let's get the State Police into the city of New Orleans, not necessarily patrolling Bourbon Street, but give them an opportunity to work the traffic violations,” Cannizzaro said.

With the program, the Orleans District Attorney's office would provide the funding for troopers to work overtime.

“I think it frees up the NOPD to concentrate on the violent criminals, and you'll find many times that narcotic and gun charges are made by very simple traffic stops,” Cannizzaro said.

“If we're able to be visible on these highways and streets around New Orleans, the criminals are going to see that,” Edmonson said.

Edmondson said he's in favor of the LACE program and believes it would help with the NOPD's manpower shortage.

Additional troopers will still lend an extra hand in the French Quarter during major events and holidays.


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