NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - After a two-hour meeting with Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Police Chief Michael Harrison, former sanitation entrepreneur Sidney Torres walked out of City Hall smiling.
"It was a very good meeting. We started off shaking hands and gave each other a hug," said Torres.
Torres wasn't the only one in the closed door meeting. In fact, we're told more than 30 business and community leaders were also invited. But Torres is the one who seemed to have captured the Mayor's attention last week with the release of three different anti-crime commercials. He became fed up with crime in the French Quarter after his own house was broken into and a nearby lounge held up.
His commercials aimed to send a direct message to Landrieu about overall frustration, and Torres believes his message was heard.
"He showed me that he was very committed to fixing this problem. I see, and I believe him as well as the chief," said Torres.
"We all came out of the meeting feeling like we were on the same team. We're moving forward, and we're all committed to achieving the same goal, which is reducing crime," said Harrison.
But the meeting was about more than talk - action was taken. Torres said the mayor agreed to sign paperwork to begin off-duty details in the French Quarter, something that's been talked about for a year.
"I think that was taking some time to get done. Today, he looked right at his staff and said 'I want that to be signed now,'" said Torres.
"We also talked about the State Police commitment and how they're going to be here. We talked about outside agencies and how they're going to help us during Mardi Gras. We all came out of it very pleased with what's happening now, and what's going to happen in the near future," said Harrison.
In addition to the short-term goals, there was discussion about what may happen in the future.
"So, it isn't over, but it's a good start," said Torres. "I think that the mayor is wanting to work with us and wanting to get a long-term solution put in place as well as a short-term fix."
With that, Torres said he's satisfied.
"I'm going to pull those commercials today. I made that commitment to him, so I'm going to do it," he said.