Quarter crime on the minds of many as tourists arrive for big ev - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Quarter crime on the minds of many as tourists arrive for big events

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - With the recent crime in the French Quarter, New Orleans tourism and city leaders are doing everything in their power to make sure that extra visitors in town for New Year's Eve and the Sugar Bowl stay safe.

“When we had the troopers before there was a lot less violence in the quarter,” said Greg Creason, owner of Creason's Fine Art Gallery.

Creason can't wait for Wednesday. That's the day 32 state troopers will arrive in New Orleans to patrol the French Quarter for the week. They'll be joined by New Orleans police, and every single officer will be on the streets.

“We are all hands on deck for New Year's Eve,” said NOPD Chief Michael Harrison.

In addition to beefed-up security Wednesday night, Harrison directed 10 additional officers to patrol the Quarter for the entire week. Getting extra manpower is something locals and business owners have been asking for for weeks, especially in light of recent armed robberies and attacks. In fact, signs warning people to use caution while walking in the city because of the lack of police presence just popped up across the Quarter.

“I think it's probably one of the best ways that we could speak to the mayor, the city and the NOPD to help us,” Creason said.

Creason said the crime problem is something tourists ask him about daily, saying, “It's a common thing we talk about, to protect them.”

But lately, he's finding his advice can only go so far.

“I hear that as long as we stay in the area of the French Quarter then we're ok.” said tourist Kathy Hunt. 

Alesia Parker adds, “Just like any big city, New York or whatever, you have to be careful.”

Mayor Landrieu acknowledges crime and violence are issues here, and manpower needs to be increased. His solution? The feds need to step in and help. “The federal government ought to have a presence here, the state government ought to have a presence here,” Landrieu said.

In the meantime, Landrieu says the Sugar Bowl and New Year's will go off without a hitch, and he's confident that football fans and revelers alike will be safe.

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