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Mayors Wants Trained Unarmed Citizens Patrolling Quarter

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - At a meeting Thursday night, Mayor Mitch Landrieu pitched a new plan to protect the French Quarter. He and interim NOPD Police Chief Michael Harrison are backing an unarmed citizen security idea called, NOLA Patrol.

It shares some similarities with earlier proposals. But this plan would be funded with taxpayer money.

City leaders want fifty unarmed citizens to help keep watch and aid police specifically in the 8th District.

NOLA Patrol would receive training, then give addition unarmed “eyes and ears” in the French Quarter, Landrieu said.

Patrols could free up police manpower by helping with simple things like directing traffic.

Harrison said when crime is happening, NOLA Patrol would step aside, “The police are still there and will respond to anything they need help for. They can call for help if they need us. Their uniform will be distinctly different from ours. And they’ll be handling less serious things so we can take care of the more important issues.”

Mayor Landrieu wants a portion of the voluntary hotel/motel tax to pay for NOLA Patrol, hoping to give those who work late nights in the Quarter some security.

NOLA Patrol would also serve as a recruiting tool for those interested in a future career in law enforcement.