The streets of the French Quarter and Central Business District are about to get a little safer; thanks to a generous donation from the 8th district business community.
WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter gives us a look at some shiny new crime-fighting tools.
Benjamin Owens spends a fair amount of time at Caliche & Pao Gallery, located on Royal Street in the French Quarter.
Over the years, he’s heard about a fair share of French Quarter crime.
“I find the Quarter a much safer place than it was considered years ago,” Owens said.
And 8th district officers are working to keep momentum moving in the right direction.
A donation from the French Quarter Management District will help.
30-thousand dollars in contributions from the business community was used to pay for five new scooters and five iPads.
“It’s really important that we support them,” Chairman Robert Watters said. “We know in these tough budget times their under pressure so it felt pretty good to be able to get people together and say this is a need and we’re going to help fill it.”
The scooters will be used daily to improve safety for people who live, work, and play in the French Quarter.
Jack Sutton Jewelry clerk Pam Gengo thinks the scooters will improve patrols.
“I think it would be much quicker and I think that would be a benefit to the French Quarter,” Gengo said.
“And also when you’ve got to park and go take care of calls for service or meet someone or talk to someone you’re not taking up or you can pull this off to the side, be out of the way of traffic, both pedestrian and vehicle much easier,” New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said.
As for the iPads, 11-hundred private cameras keeping watch over the French Quarter are linked into a network that police can now access on the go.
“Having in your hand a computer that can do many things that you use to have to do at your desk makes you a lot more mobile, you’re a lot more effective,” Serpas said.
The scooters and iPads will be used by both patrol officers and detectives.
The hope is that they’ll be able to access camera footage faster and make more arrests.