Bourbon Street to be blockaded for New Year's Eve

Bourbon Street to be blockaded for New Year's Eve

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The French Quarter will see some serious security upgrades this weekend ahead of the New Year's Eve and Sugar Bowl celebrations.

New Orleans Police said they will have 100 percent staffing throughout the city, including 12-hour shifts for officers working in the French Quarter. State Police said they will double the number of troopers in the Quarter, as well.

The increased manpower comes with additional security measures, including K9 patrols, extra lighting and security cameras.

"When you're walking in the French Quarter and you're outside, you are in a public space. You should assume you are on camera now. Certainly, if you're on Bourbon Street, you should assume that everything you do is going to be seen by a camera that will be used for public purposes," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.

Most significantly, in a response to previous violence on Bourbon Street and an effort to prevent a terror attack, the heart of the French Quarter will look a lot different.

"We are going to harden Bourbon Street to make it a pedestrian zone only by blocking every single intersection from the 100 to 800 block so that no vehicles can cross or drive down Bourbon Street," NOPD Chief Michael Harrison said.

That's a direct response to the terror attack on a German Christmas market, where a Tunisian man killed 12 people and injured dozens by plowing a truck into a crowd.

State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson said he's so confident in the security measures, he's more than happy to bring his children to the Quarter.

"I'm going to be there, and I'm going to be there with my family. I'm gonna watch that Fleur de Lis drop. I'm going to watch a good football game, and I'm gonna be part of the city. There's not a weekend or a day that I have not felt safe in coming to the city of New Orleans and bringing my family, and I wanted you to know that," Edmonson said.

It's a massive undertaking, but one law enforcement officials think is necessary, even if it detracts from the ambiance of the Crescent City.

"New Orleans has its own special culture and we want to secure this event, but we don't want to turn it into a militarized zone," Landrieu said. "You're gonna see individuals with tactical outfits on. This is the first time you're gonna see this in the city. This is not a surprise if you go to Rockefeller Center, it's not a surprise if you go to Times Square, it's not a surprise if you go to some other areas, but in New Orleans, you haven't seen that for a major event. You're going to see that this weekend."

Despite the security upgrades, the FBI said there is no credible threat against the state or the City of New Orleans.

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