Bars to close doors at 3 a.m. under new 3 tier public safety plan

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Is three the magic number to keep New Orleans safe?

Mayor Mitch Landrieu unveiled the New Orleans 2017 public safety improvements plan today, and some proposals may not sit well with some late-night revelers or bar owners.

The three-tiered plan marks a $40 million investment for the city which will include an increase in NOPD manpower in coordination, crime deterrence and apprehension tactics, and homeland security measures.

“Public safety continues to be our top priority,” Landrieu said. “The best way to continue to fight crime is to improve manpower, crime deterrence and our apprehensions with investments in technology and visibility. In the wake of attacks in Nice, Berlin and Israel, we also have to ensure we bolster our homeland security preparedness. With the help of Governor Edwards, the Convention Center, City Council, Legislators and other stakeholders, we are confident this package will increase security for New Orleans residents, workers and visitors.”

One of those new tactics is sure to raise a few eyebrows in the “city that care forgot.”

New statewide regulations will require monitored security cameras in bars in some areas, and the bars will have to close their doors at 3 a.m.

While the regulations are aimed at the entire city and will be enforced citywide, the French Quarter will be the area where the 3 a.m. rules will have the largest impact, especially since part of the safety plan calls for sanitation workers to clean the streets of the Quarter at 3 a.m.

Landrieu stopped just short of calling the 3 a.m. rule a curfew, but the move is designed to get people off of the streets. The bars will not have to close entirely, but the doors to the bar will have to remain closed.

Landrieu did not discuss how this 3 a.m. rule will affect Mardi Gras season or the throngs of tourists who flock to New Orleans every year for all-night festivities, other than to stress that security will be heightened for Mardi Gras and the NBA Allstar Game.

More lights will be added to bourbon street under the plan, with an additional push to pedestrianize Bourbon Street entirely.