NOPD: Those who dump illegally won't get a pass during Carnival season

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The NOPD said just because it's providing security for Carnival parades doesn't mean illegal dumpers will get a pass.

Police Chief Michael Harrison said his officers are on the lookout for criminals trashing New Orleans East, and crime cameras may help them.

Tires dumped in eastern New Orleans over the weekend are hardly the whole picture.

"We've even had dead bodies in the area, so who wants to come out in the area with all of that going on?" said Lynette Sparrow, President of the Oak Island Neighborhood Association.

Illegal dumping is an epidemic residents said.

On Tuesday Harrison assured residents that even though parades are rolling in other parts of the city, there will still be police officers working to stop illegal dumping.

"We're not going to let anybody come into this community and destroy it with illegal dumping or any other crime. We take it all seriously," Harrison said.

"Our community is just tired of it," said Sylvia Scineaux-Richard with the East New Orleans Neighborhood Advisory Commission.

"They dump cars, you know, they burn them as well as trash," Sparrow continued.

Harrison said they are investigating two men arrested over the weekend, Bryant Ballard and Leonard Patterson, who are accused of illegal tire dumping and possession of a stolen U-Haul truck.

"And the message to anybody who thinks they want to participate in this illegal activity, do not do it. We will catch you," Harrison said.

He said the department will use all available resources to curb the problem.

"We're dedicated to giving manpower, resources, patrols, cameras whether they're permanent or whether they're mobile," said the chief.

"Also, maybe a paper trail of how these tires are being accumulated, so that they are dumped in such numbers. We're talking hundreds and hundreds of tires," said Scineaux-Richard.

Harrison said they hope to learn if illegal dumpers are working with tire shops.

"We're working to get those answers as we speak because we want to stop of it as its root," said Harrison.

Residents said items are not only dumped in the marsh, but sometimes in the middle of the street, impeding their driving.

"It's frustrating because you really can't drive down the street because sometimes they dump in the street," Sparrow said.

It is a problem in some other areas of the city.  A viewer sent photos to FOX 8's Facebook page showing old tires in a pile on Lafayette Street.

Law enforcement has said undeterred dumping can encourage other bad behavior.

"When that quality of life is eroded would-be criminals look at it and would think citizens don't care and then they take advantage of that," said Harrison.

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