City Council questions State Police pull-out from Quarter

City Council questions State Police pull-out from Quarter

Some people who live in the French Quarter say they thought state police would keep patrolling the Quarter until May. Now, they say they need to keep moving forward with a plan of their own to try to keep their neighborhood safe.

New Orleans police officers line up for council commendations after making a quick arrest of an accused killer during Muses.

"This case, though critical, exemplifies the cases we handle every day," said Commander Chris Goodley.

By all accounts, with the help of federal and state partners, NOPD says their enforcement plan worked. Law officers put in nearly 59,000 man hours in the 12-day Carnival season, making 443 arrests.

"That's 523 officers, plus another 71 were recruits and aides," said Deputy Supt. Bob Bardy.

About 150 state troopers were a big part of the security plan. But many thought State Police were to remain through May, and some were surprised to learn this week that troopers had pulled out.

"I was - I thought they would be here through May, so I was surprised," said Bob Simms, with the French Quarter Management District.

The council also has questions. At a meeting to recap Mardi Gras security, council criminal justice Chairwoman Susan Guidry told State Police: "There was a report in the last couple of days that you weren't in the Quarter for now, and I had heard you would be here through May."

State Police Lt. Col. David Staton answered, "Right now we're developing deployment plans, and how we might do that."

While French Quarter management officials hope for a quick return, they continue to push for additional NOPD security in the Quarter in areas outside of Bourbon Street.

Shootings on Bourbon make national headlines, but Decatur Street merchants complain about daily harassment by transient youth.

"We got a lot of aggressive transient people on Decatur, and we want to see those addressed too," said Simms.

The new plan will include additional officers riding four-wheel vehicles.

"The plan we're putting together now includes patrolling all the Quarter," said Simms.

And they hope that whatever plan emerges, State Police will be a key part.

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