If freedom from care is your brand, then you better do all you can to project that image.
That’s exactly what New Orleans has done with a proposed $40 million program intended to fight crime and protect visitors to high-profile areas from terrorist attacks. The package includes plans for round-the-clock monitoring of cameras in 20 high crime hot spots, take-home cars for police officers, and high-tech imaging equipment to spot people carrying weapons. Vehicles on Bourbon Street would also be banned under the proposal. And in a compromise, bars across the city would be required to keep their doors closed after 3 a.m. to discourage patrons from spilling outside.
The ramped-up effort, in the works for about a year, is in response to an uptick in violent crime and a well-publicized murder during Thanksgiving. To allay the fears of tourists, Louisiana’s governor will also deploy to the city 173 additional uniformed state police officers during All-Star weekend and 165 more for Mardi Gras.
It’s a good start to a complicated problem. Part of the security will be funded by money generated by the Ernest J. Morial Convention Center, which has accumulated millions of dollars for a planned expansion that was sidelined after Hurricane Katrina.