NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - With thousands of visitors in New Orleans for the Bayou Classic, New Orleans police and Louisiana State Police will be out in full force this weekend.
The big game isn't happening until Saturday afternoon but Grambling and Southern University fans are already in town celebrating and it's the NOPD's goal to keep them all safe.
New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison says the department will have 100 percent staffing and in addition to the Louisiana State troopers who already help officers patrol the French Quarter.
Colonel Mike Edmonson sent additional men and women to New Orleans this weekend.
Harrison says the city wants to provide visitors an experience of a lifetime while they're in town. To do that, they need to keep everyone safe. That includes New Orleans residents who may come to downtown for the festivities.
Harrison warned anyone out over the weekend not to drink and drive. Police will be on the lookout for drunk drivers this weekend.
"We're not going to tolerate violence. We want to make sure people get that message," Harrison said. "Do not bring firearms to the French Quarter, we're going to treat that very seriously and harshly and try to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law when we catch you."
This is the 43rd year for the Bayou Classic. The goal for public safety officials is for football fans to have an enjoyable and safe weekend.
Harrison said given the volume of traffic expected, if residents don't have urgent business downtown, they should avoid driving.