Visitors say security is a must in French Quarter

Visitors say security is a must in French Quarter

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Several tons of sand and steel sat at the foot of Bourbon Street blocking off the main entrance to cars as New Year's Eve revelers got a soggy taste of the French Quarter. The barricaded streets are just part of a security package that's hard to miss.

"You're going to see tactical gear being deployed by tactically trained officers all up and down Bourbon Street and on Decatur Street and on side streets and you're going to see we've hardened Bourbon Street so that it is pedestrian only," NOPD Chief Michael Harrison said.

There are also hundreds of New Orleans Police Officers and State Troopers saturating the French Quarter, a police presence unlike previous years, but one that keeps up with security trends.

"You see the changing culture around the country. I just got back from New York a couple of weeks ago. We saw that element, you saw that part of it, it has not been the case in New Orleans but why not test it. The public wants to feel safe, they want to come to the city, they want to enjoy everything the city has to offer," Louisiana State Police Col. Mike Edmonson, said.

The security standards helped some folks skepticism of Bourbon fade, even if they didn't completely let their guard down.

"A lot of people said don't come to Bourbon Street after dark. The hotel, they told us that, but I mean it's a great crowd and I haven't seen anything crazy in it so I feel pretty comfortable here maybe I'm just naïve," Angela Hamby, who was visiting from Alabama, said.

"You keep safe and keep looking behind you, but overall I feel fairly safe," Stephen Hamby said.

Some out-of-towners think the increased presence is more than welcome and just a start to keeping them safe.

"I want to see it, I want to it. Yeah absolutely every time we see them we thank them. We walked on the road and we thank them no matter what it takes, you can have as much as you want here, I don't care if it's a tank, our safety is first," Stephanie and Dan Faircloth, who were visiting from Boston, said.

While the streets seemed prepared for New Year's Eve, visitors said without the increased police presence they wouldn't be in the Crescent City.

"No, not at all. I would be scared for my life and I would go somewhere else," Jessica Pozo, who was visiting from Oklahoma, said.

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