NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - After a rash of vehicle break-ins across the city, several businesses are now stepping up security. They say it’s worth spending the extra resources for peace of mind.
"What we've done is to hire security detail, the police officer, to be here during our services on Saturday and on Sunday," Resurrection of Our Lord Pastor Geoffrey Muga said.
Muga said after the incident, parishioners were nervous about returning.
“They broke into our cars on Saturday, and the following Sunday, they were concerned and they were wondering whether they would continue coming to church,” Muga said.
He said a group even suspended their Saturday morning meetings.
“Since we recruited the officer, he’s been here for two weekends and they are happy and they are contented,” Muga said.
“The church acts as a partnership within this community,” Glenn Braud, with the Donna Villa Neighborhood Association said.
Braud said he’s working with the church to keep the neighborhood safe.
“We had cameras up here, but they weren’t sufficient enough to capture the criminals, the perpetrators of these crimes. We now want to have live surveillance to assist the police in their strategy to execute their strategies to actually catch the criminals in the act,” Braud said.
Someone was also seen on surveillance breaking into the Queen Mary Church of Vietnam a few days after. Leaders at that church say they’ve hired an NOPD officer along with 16 other security guards to patrol the lot. UNO also faced dozens of vehicle break-ins on two separate occasions.
A spokesperson said they’ve added patrols and changed their strategy to target specific areas. He said the Levee District and State Police are also assisting with more patrols in the neighborhood.
It’s a problem affected neighborhoods say they’re trying to fight.
“We have to pay the officer so that’s an extra expense that we did not have now that we have to incur, but we have to do it for the safety of the people and for the peace of the mind,” Muga said.
City Park officials said they’re also hiring detail officers after car break-ins outside a wedding event that same weekend.