Starting Thursday, a contingent of 50 to 60 additional state troopers will be patrolling the French Quarter and its environs through the end of 2015.
The productive partnership between Col. Mike Edmonson, head of the State Police, and New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison also includes the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, helping to guarantee the overtime costs. Hoteliers also contribute lodging for troopers.
The troopers will be very visible, Edmonson said at the announcement of the extended deployment while he was on the steps of NOPD’s 8th District headquarters on Royal Street.
The number of troopers in town “will change based on the events, whether it’s French Quarter Fest, whether it’s Jazz Fest, whether it’s any festival in New Orleans,” he said. “You can expect to see the complement of state troopers and public safety officers that this chief and the city of New Orleans needs.”
We agree with Harrison that it’s particularly important that the tourist draw of the Quarter will be better protected, and we commend all involved for stepping up.
As Stephen Perry, of the CVB, said, the winners are the businesses that contribute enormously to the economy of the city and the region.
In the best of all possible worlds, of course, New Orleans streets would be an NOPD responsibility. With the desperate financial travails after the 2005 hurricanes and levee breaches, that day is still a ways off.
The LSP is greatly appreciated for its commitment.