New Orleans $40 million security plan: cameras in 20 neighborhoods, tamping down on street parties in the early morning

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.