Major expansion of surveillance cameras in French Quarter, 20 hot spots

By Jeff Adelson

Source: The Advocate

January 23, 2017

A massive expansion of the New Orleans Police Department’s surveillance capabilities, in both the French Quarter and 20 “hot spots” around the city, was unveiled Monday afternoon.

The 20 “hot spots” for more cameras include Hollygrove, Mid-City, Hoffman Triangle, Milan, Central City, St. Thomas, CBD, 7th Ward, St. Roch, St. Claude, Algiers, Behrman, Florida/Desire area, Gentilly Woods, Lower 9th Ward, Pines Village, Little Woods, Chef Highway and East Shore.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu also said bars will be required to close doors and keep patrons inside after 3 a.m. That rule applies city-wide, Landrieu said. This rule is designed to keep people from hanging out in the streets after 3 a.m, he said. Click here to read more details about the 3 a.m. proposal.

Bourbon Street will also eventually become pedestrian-only. Landrieu guessed that might occur in the next 4-6 months.

The roughly $30 million proposal is part of a security plan drafted after a shooting over Thanksgiving weekend left one dead and nine injured on Bourbon Street.

Landrieu and Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the plan at an afternoon news conference.

The plan calls for installing more cameras in the French Quarter as well as throughout the city, which would be monitored from a central command station. The proposal also calls for ensuring two NOPD or Louisiana State Police officers are stationed in every block of Bourbon Street and that canine units and cameras with heat sensors are used to detect concealed weapons on those entering the area.

Early versions of the plan also called for blocking off much of Bourbon Street to vehicular traffic, a move officials said was necessary to prevent terrorist attacks such as the one in Nice, France, in which 86 people were killed when a truck was driven into a crowd of people during Bastille Day celebrations.

The security plan has been in the works for weeks, though the Landrieu administration has declined to comment on details of the proposal.

The city will be picking up about $16 million of the cost of the plan, with the rest being born by the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The convention center is a state entity with its own taxing power that has come under criticism from the non-partisan Bureau of Governmental Research for maintaining a $200 million reserve, which the group has argued could go toward other more urgent needs in the city.

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