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 this week. 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 and is designed to keep people from hanging out in the streets after 3 a.m. Because everyone wants to hang out in one bar when they walk down Bourbon Street said no one.
Bourbon Street will also eventually become pedestrian-only which may occur in the next 4-6 months. Which can be the only good thing out of this. 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.
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.
This comes as the City of Dallas may be deciding the fate of clubs being open past Midnight and Patio’s with no-parking being shut down it looks like you can’t get away to New Orleans and getaway. This is a big downer as we need looser regulation on nightclubs and bars in the days of Trump. We will want to go out more and stay away from the Cable News and reality. In Dallas, we have the Take Back Oaklawn campaign for more lighting and cameras because of attacks following Pride a few years ago. They also have patrols which have really helped out and build a stronger community in the area which is what the French Quarter should have considered. Although they should not push for too many cameras and too much lighting as that just leads to a big brother surveillance. The biggest fight should be to find the people who are behind these crimes but it seems nothing has happened on that regard.
NOLA is mainly looking for an excuse for more surveillance and a lazy way out. This will for sure keep a lot of people traveling for a fun weekend away from any other city that closes bars at 2 or 3am. NOLA really has nothing to offer on Bourbon street at night with this new police state. You have to wonder if Bourbon Pub, Corner Pocket, Rawhide and Oz will be able to stay in business with all of these new changes.
If you’re planning a trip to NOLA and want to go somewhere more fun then check out NYC or Miami Beach where you can drink all night. Better yet… Save your money for a trip to Berlin and really have some fun.
Here is a list of some of the things changing for New Orleans:
- 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.