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NOLA pauses plans to put more officers on patrol in French Quarter

Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 10:47 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Business owners and residents of the French Quarter are still in limbo when it comes to putting more police officers on the streets. They say the funding and resources are there, but now they’re waiting for the green light from the city.

“I think we’re in a very good spot. We are completely ready to roll this out,” said Christian Pendleton, chair of the French Quarter Management District (FQMD). The plan calls for hiring post-certified officers to patrol the French Quarter.

Pendleton says they’re ready thanks to the collection of a special sales tax to help fund additional police officers in the Quarter, and $600,000 in funding from New Orleans & Company to supplement the officers for six months.

“That provides for a fair amount of patrolling, I mean not as much as the French Quarter needs, but certainly a lot more than it currently has,” he said. “We’re coming with a solution to the problem. We’re providing not only the resources but the funding as well, so I was a little surprised when the administration asked us to slow down.”

Pendleton said the Mayor’s office and the NOPD asked the FQMD to pause their efforts of putting more security on the streets.

City spokesperson Beau Tidwell said the city wants the additional help but there are some concerns with the current plan. In a statement, he said:

“The City of New Orleans and the NOPD welcome the much-needed additional public safety resources the French Quarter Management District has brought to the table. What is currently being proposed by the FQMD and NOCO is not in alignment with either the Home Rule Charter or the federal consent decree. We will therefore need to find an alternative arrangement to the one that was proposed. We are working with FQMD to deploy these resources as quickly as possible within the parameters of the law.”

Kelly Schulz with New Orleans & Company (NOCO) said they’re behind the efforts of more patrols because it will help make the area safer for everyone.

“It’s a beautiful historic neighborhood that we’ve got to keep safe and that includes the public safety, the quality of life, having visible patrols,” she said. “All of those things make a difference.”

For Pendleton, he said the group will wait for the green light out of respect for the NOPD, but they are ready to get moving especially as more people visit the city.

“We have to do it right. We have to do it safely. And so this is an opportunity to just provide that extra layer of security.”

He added, the FQMD hopes officers will be on patrol before Mardi Gras.

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