New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced a series of steps the City plans to take to improve public safety and the quality of life for residents, workers and tourists in the French Quarter.
Over the short term, the costs of the enhanced security will be paid for by a hotel self-assessment and by individual businesses.
Over the long term, the plan is to create a New Orleans Economic Development District for collecting a quarter cent sales tax that would be primarily paid by tourists in the 8th District. The additional tax revenue generated would pay for state troopers dedicated to the French Quarter.
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The Economic Development District still needs to be approved by voters in French Quarter. In any case, more Louisiana State Police troopers will be on patrols in the French Quarter and surrounding areas by the end of the year, to be paid as overtime by the New Orleans CVB.
More NOPD detail officers will be assigned nightly to the Bourbon promenade, and more NOPD detail officers on Polaris vehicle patrol will be assigned for areas of the French Quarter beyond Bourbon Street. A complement of 4-6 NOLA Patrol officers will be present throughout each day for non-emergency quality of life functions.
The French Quarter Task Force app is also now available for download and free use by people in the city. The app is designed to equip residents with an easy way to report crimes and give the police more eyes and ears on the street. The app’s availability is being advertised on television. Musician Lenny Kravitz has offered the use of one of his songs as a way to encourage people to download and use the app.
In a release announcing these and other safety proposals that are in the works, Mayor Landrieu said that the French Quarter is an important economic engine for the city, region, and state. The Mayor added that it will be critical for voters of the French Quarter to approve the Economic Development District this fall.
District C Councilmember Nadine Ramsey said in the release that she is extremely pleased that they have been able to work out a self-sustaining plan for safety in the French Quarter. Ramsey added that the Economic Development District will generate the funds needed to provide additional security without taking much needed resources from other parts of New Orleans.