Louisiana State Police add 165 troopers for Mardi Gras, NBA All-Star Game

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – The Louisiana State Police are stepping up patrols in New Orleans for the NBA All-Star Game and Mardi Gras, sending 165 additional troopers to town.

Governor John Bel Edwards approved the infusion of troopers, who will primarily focus on proactive patrols, criminal investigations, crowd control and traffic control in the French Quarter and metro area, according to the LSP.

“Our commitment to public safety in New Orleans is ongoing,” Edwards said in a press release. “Mardi Gras in itself is an exciting time to be in Louisiana, but adding in the return of the NBA All-Star Game makes it even better. Col. Edmonson and the LSP are doing a tremendous job in assisting Mayor Landrieu and NOPD secure the city, but this added presence will help protect the people in around the City of New Orleans. I am glad we are able to help, and I am looking forward to this exciting weekend in Louisiana.”

State Troopers will work alongside the NOPD, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, DOTD, and the Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control to keep the public safe.

“Louisiana State Police is proud and excited to once again partner with our fellow law enforcement and the City of New Orleans for NBA and Carnival 2017,” Louisiana State Police Superintendent Colonel Mike Edmonson said. “Our primary focus during these events is protecting our citizens and tourists and ensuring that they have a memorable experience. We cannot do this alone; we rely on the public to assist law enforcement by coming forward and expressing any concerns related to criminal activity or unsafe situations. If you see something that does not seem right, say something!”

The Louisiana State Police offer the following tips and reminders to help keep everyone safe:

Personal Safety:

  • Know where your children are and do not allow them to play in areas where vehicular traffic is possible and also during the parades while floats are moving.
  • Abide by laws enacted by the New Orleans City Council regarding safety on parade routes:
    • Do not block intersections with ladders, grills, etc. These areas need to be kept open for emergency vehicles.
    • Ladders should be at least 6 feet from barricades; this prevents a ladder and child from tipping over in front of a moving float and/or onto the roadway.
  • If you are unfamiliar with the area you will be walking in, pick up a local map or get directions from reliable people, such as hotel personnel or law enforcement officers.
  • AVOID vacant areas and dark alleys. There is safety in numbers so walk with someone you know or stay with the crowd.
  • Do not flash large sums of currency while in public. This could possibly catch the eye of criminals.
  • Carry pertinent information (driver’s license, ID, credit cards, keys, etc.) and valuables in your front pocket. This puts pickpockets at a disadvantage. Avoid wearing baggy pants because they are easier targets for criminals. If possible, connect a chain from your wallet to your belt loop, making it more difficult for the criminals.
  • Ladies, avoid carrying bulky purses and wearing expensive/flashy jewelry. Ensure your purse is zipped at all times. This prevents criminals from reaching into your purse. Also, carry pertinent information in your front pocket.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol intake. Remember, the first thing alcohol affects is your judgment. A highly intoxicated person can be an easy target for a criminal.

Safety for Children:    

  • Once you arrive at your spot on the parade route, have your child identify two landmarks that let them know where they are. This makes children aware of their surroundings from the beginning.
  • Make a plan ahead of time of what your child should do if he/she gets separated from you. If there is a police officer nearby, the child should go to the officer. If there is no police officer around, the child should look for a family with small children to ask for help.
  • It is helpful to write a cell phone number on a small piece of paper and pin that paper inside of the child’s shirt or jacket in case he/she gets lost. Even when children have a phone number memorized, it can be difficult to remember when the child is scared.
  • Notice anyone in the crowd who may be paying a great deal of attention to your child.
  • Take your child’s picture with your cell phone before you head out for the day. If the worst thing happens, you can show the police exactly what your child looks like and what he/she was wearing.

Driving Safety:

  • DRIVE SOBER!  Prior to enjoying the festivities, make a plan and stick to it!  Get a designated driver, take a taxi or have a sober family member or friend pick you up and take you home safely. Also, do not get in the vehicle with an impaired driver.
  • BUCKLE UP!  Louisiana law requires EVERYONE in the vehicle to be properly restrained. In the event of a crash, the SAFEST place to be is inside the vehicle.
  • IF YOU DRINK AND DRIVE YOU WILL GO TO JAIL!  Louisiana State Troopers will be aggressively patrolling the roads for impaired drivers.

Parking:

  • Pay attention to parking signs and use common sense. There will be limited parking available; attempt to carpool or use an alternate form of transportation.
  • Observe the restricted parking areas in and around the French Quarter and New Orleans Arena. Do not block fire hydrants or driveways. Do not interfere with the flow of traffic on streets or sidewalks. This will ensure the safe movement of emergency vehicles / personnel responding to calls for service and emergency situations.
  • Following these tips and the parking signs may prevent you from having your vehicle towed or paying a fine.
  • Remember to remove all valuables from your vehicle or from the view of the public eye.
  • Double check to ensure your vehicle is locked and the windows are closed. Make sure you have your keys. Also, take a look around you and remember where you parked.
  • Know pertinent information about your vehicle, such as your license plate number. This will assist you and the police in determining whether your vehicle has been towed or stolen.