NEW ORLEANS—Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined Governor John Bel Edwards, NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison, Louisiana State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmondson, and FBI Agent in Charge Jeff Sallet to introduce a nearly $40 million package of public safety and homeland security investments that will help fight crime. The package of new citywide technology investments, new police cars for added visibility and new ABO regulations will enhance security in hot spots throughout the city and harden critical assets that are vulnerable to terrorist-like incidents.
“Public safety continues to be our top priority,” Mayor Landrieu said. “The best way to continue to fight crime is to improve manpower, crime deterrence and our apprehensions with investments in technology and visibility. In the wake of attacks in Nice, Berlin and Israel, we also have to ensure we bolster our homeland security preparedness. With the help of Governor Edwards, the Convention Center, City Council, Legislators and other stakeholders, we are confident this package will increase security for New Orleans residents, workers and visitors.”
“New Orleans is not only a great place to live and work but a major tourist destination and we must do all that we can to provide first rate protection for the enjoyment of everyone," said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “This partnership between the City and State is critically important. This isn't just about the French Quarter, this is about the entire City of New Orleans, and I am grateful for the hard work put into this effort by the mayor, as well as state and city officials."
NOPD Superintendent Chief Michael Harrison said, “All of these efforts are part of our ongoing commitment to make our neighborhoods safer. Under this new plan, we are expanding the resources to our officers and bolstering our preparedness. I am confident that this package will help strengthen the tactical efforts of the New Orleans police department and our partners.”
State Police Superintendent Colonel Mike Edmonson said, "For Louisiana to be successful, New Orleans must be successful. For this reason, State Police continues an unprecedented partnership with the New Orleans Police Department by dedicating resources to assist them in the French Quarter. The multi-faceted proposal by the city makes clear that public safety of our citizens and tourists is a priority and State Police is proud to partner in this bold initiative."
Jeffrey S. Sallet, FBI New Orleans Division - Special Agent in Charge, said, “The FBI New Orleans Division remains vigilant in the fight to combat terrorism and violent crime throughout the city. Now, more than ever, is the time that we stand united with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to combat any and all threats to public safety. Teamwork is not optional. One Team – One Fight.”
District C Councilmember Nadine M. Ramsey said, "New Orleans is a beautiful, rich city, with so many wonderful people, places and events to offer the world. Every part of this City is important, and it is vital that any safety plan we initiate takes measures to protect all of our many treasured neighborhoods."
Jail Compliance Director Gary Maynard said, “The Sheriff’s Office is working with the NOPD to ensure we constantly improve our partnership. The new Mobile Booking Unit in the Mayor’s Citywide Safety Improvements Plan will increase operational efficiency between the OPSO and NOPD, and help get officers back on the street in a timely manner.”
Rep. Walt Leger said, “Nothing is more important than the security and safety of all New Orleanians. Until everyone can feel safe walking down the street, unloading groceries in front of their home, and coming home late at night, then the job isn’t done. The public safety partnership announced today between the City and the State is a positive step toward promoting the security of our people and protecting our communities, which are our most valuable assets. The citizens of one of the greatest cities in the country deserve nothing less.”
Sen. J.P. Morrell said, "This plan is the culmination of numerous meetings with stakeholders throughout the city. We concluded that more infrastructure investment throughout the city was needed to effectively fight crime. This plan represents a down payment on new technology to make our entire city safer."
Sen. Conrad Appel said, "The steps taken today are a start in the fight to fight back against crime but nothing will substitute for 300-500 additional qualified police officers on the street"
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center President Melvin Rodrigue said, “We are working on infrastructure investment in and around the areas in which our guests visit and our employees live. When reflecting on where we are and the transformative things we want to do in the future, we realize we need to make sure our guests and employees are safe today to get to where we need to be tomorrow. The City’s partnership is imperative to the success of this comprehensive program.”
These 2017 investments build on a 60 percent reduction in police response times to emergency calls and a major, double-digit reduction in armed robberies in 2016. Additionally, a 2016 University of New Orleans survey reported citizen satisfaction with NOPD rose from 33 percent in 2009 to 64 percent in 2016.
The City increased the NOPD’s budget to $150 million for 2017, which includes $11 million for overtime, new license plate readers, and more than 20 new civilian positions. Previous investments in a new online electronic police reporting system will help reduce NOPD manpower pressures by allowing individuals to get online police reports for minor infractions such as lost or stolen items, non-injury car accidents, and more. The NOPD will also unveil stronger enforcement of the City’s new false alarm penalty laws, which seeks to reduce unverified burglar alarms even further.
The investments unveiled today include:
- Over 200 new high-definition, public security cameras and signage in 20 hotspots;
- Over 100 new license plate readers, deployed citywide;
- A 24/7 real-time Command Center, into which the cameras, license plate readers and other technology will be monitored;
- 300 new police take-home cars to improve visibility for NOPD patrol officers who reside in Orleans Parish;
- Use of the OPSO Mobile Booking unit to reduce taking officers off the street for arrests;
- Adding K9 units with gun and bomb-sniffing potential to deter illegal possession of firearm detection and terrorist activity;
- Remote sensing technology on Bourbon Street to assist officers in illegal possession of a firearm detection;
- Hardening street infrastructure and pedestrianizing Bourbon Street with bollards during certain times to prevent a Nice or Berlin-style attack; and
- Brighter LED lighting in the Vieux Carré, which had previously only been used citywide.
In addition to these investments, the Mayor also committed to working with the City Council on new ABO (alcoholic beverage outlets) regulations to mandate outward-facing security cameras that can be tied into a 24-7 Command Center for monitoring, as well as a law to mandate that ABOs ensure their doors are closed at 3 a.m.
The costs of the plan are being shared--$16 million from various City sources and $23 million from the the State-owned Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
Click here to see the full 2017 citywide public safety and homeland security improvements.
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