French Quarter businesses considering paying for extra details, crime cameras
Across the French Quarter these days, there are signs of heightened security. For some people, however, concerns over last month's deadly shooting on Bourbon Street still linger.
"Quite frankly, I don't want to be down here after dark," said New Orleans resident Bonnie Bertelson.
For now, 50 extra state troopers are helping the NOPD patrol the French Quarter and other parts of the city. But the beefed up manpower is set to end after Labor Day, and many businesses are considering taking security steps of their own.
Attorney Chris Young represents a group known as the French Quarter Business League, which is made up of a majority of establishments on Bourbon Street. Young says the group is working on ideas to tighten security -- an effort they could pay for themselves.
"We're looking at all options. It could be NOPD off duty officers. It could be the sheriff's office. It could be state police. It could be retired police officers. We've been approached by multiple sources, and we're looking at all those sources," Young said. "[Also] the possibility of additional crime cameras in the French Quarter, whether private or public."
Young says began working on a plan before the gunfire erupted on Bourbon Street, killing one woman and injuring nine others.
But the shooting, he said, sparked a stronger sense of urgency.
"Our group, collectively, has over 4,000 employees in the French Quarter, and [business owners are] first worried about them. If [employees] don't come to work, obviously they can't operate their businesses and they're worried about their safety. Also, of course, we're worried about our customers," Young said.
With the ongoing state police patrols, though, the group says it has some time to make the right call.
"It's given us a chance to step back and decide, because we want to make sure that whatever funds are expended, that they're used effectively," Young said.
In the meantime, some visitors we talked with said they aren't fazed by the security concerns.
"We've felt very secure here. It hasn't been an issue at all," said Tiffany Ransom from Jackson, MS.
The French Quarter Business League plans to meet Tuesday to discuss some of the security ideas.
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