New Orleans bar owners speak out against the city’s new 2017 safety propsal

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - "I'm against it completely. I really, really, am," says Judy Hill Broadus, the owner of Ooh Poo Pah Doo bar in Treme.

The new and improved public safety plan for 2017 will require bars to physically shut their doors at 3:00AM.

"These aren't the people committing crimes anyway, so if it's a criminal reason, it doesn't make a lot of sense. Bar tenders, bar staff, bar customers aren't the ones that are the problem in the city," says Peter Syverson, the owner of Prytania Bar.

And at this point there are more questions than answers from bar owners and employees who say sitting outside on a bench is part of New Orleans culture.

"That's what New Orleans is known for. You party all night and all day. It's going to be a different New Orleans completely," says Broadus. “We smoke around here, we smoke cigarettes, we cannot smoke in a bar so what are we going to do? Now we just found out we can't even hang out outside," she says.

Another part of the $40 million plan will require bars to install and maintain security cameras that will feed into a new command center in New Orleans.

But again, questions confirming how soon these new public safety improvements will be required and to what degree policing New Orleans neighborhoods will be in effect, remain unanswered.

Still, the city maintains it's a "comprehensive approach."

"Closing the doors and in a way taxing one of the larger revenue streams in a city that doesn't have a lot of revenue streams I don't think makes a lot of sense," says Syverson.

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