NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Despite appearances which are often to the contrary, law enforcement leaders said at a Tuesday meeting that a crime task force is making a difference.
For the week of the Fourth of July, French Quarter officers were very busy. Officers said they made 67 arrests on Bourbon Street alone and seized four guns. The French Quarter Task Force is being credited with much faster response times of between 3 and 5 minutes, but organizers said things can always be improved.
"If the task force could be increased in size, we would clearly be able to deter more crime," said task force organizer Bob Simms. "Our role in life is not necessarily to catch people in the act, our role is to deter people from doing things. You do that by being very visible and driving around with the blue lights on."
Simms questions whether the city is collecting all of the sales tax it could to provide security in the Quarter. But he said what is being collected is making a difference, and that crime is down in the city's busy tourist areas in spite of some recent high-profile cases.
Simms said since the task force began two years ago, more than 9,000 people have used the French Quarter crime app to report crime.