Friday afternoon, Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne welcomed a group of tourist to the French Quarter. Members of the group come from 16 states and are here for the The New Orleans Antiques Forum 2014.
Dardenne says he’s concerned about recent violent crimes in the French Quarter, including a shootout on Bourbon Street. But he says the high-profile crime is having no effect on the tourism industry.
After the Bourbon Street shootout, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu pushed Governor Bobby Jindal to assign 100 state troopers to help patrol New Orleans on a permanent basis. The governor responded with about half the requested number and only through Labor Day.
Voters in Louisiana will pick a new governor next year. Dardenne plans to be a candidate. So would the city stand to get Landrieu’s request if Dardenne is elected?
“I’m not sure about having them here permanently quite frankly,” Dardenne told WGNO News. “But obviously some assistance is being granted right now. It’s been done in the past. And I have an interest, certainly in the job I have,to make sure people have a perception, a very positive perception of New Orleans. And so to the extent that we need some troopers in the immediate aftermath of this, I think it’s good that they’re here.”
Dardenne also expressed his support for deploying troopers on a temporary basis to the city during peak tourism periods like Mardi Gras.
Senator David Vitter and State Rep. John Bel Edwards are also running for Governor. Neither could be reached Friday for this story.