NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — As Mardi Gras 2023 has officially come and gone, the New Orleans Police Department will give a final update on Mardi Gras public safety efforts.
In August, Mayor LaToya Cantrell said the city’s dwindling police force could call off Mardi Gras celebrations, and since then, public safety for Carnival has been a hot-button topic for the public. However, after efforts to bring in third-party security, including officers from other agencies, the mayor said she was confident parades would be adequately staffed.
Despite a drop in 2023 trends, the city still experienced its fair share of crime in the days leading up to and on Mardi Gras. This included a shooting that killed a teenager and wounded four other people (including a four-year-old girl) along the Krewe of Bacchus parade route Sunday night.
Other incidents throughout the weekend include a shooting on I-10, leaving two dead and three critically injured—also a non-fatal stabbing on Bourbon Street with an icepick.
During the 3 p.m. press conference, Interim Chief Superintendant Michelle Woodfork expressed her family’s grief after announcing the woman shot and killed on Mardi Gras, was her cousin.
” As I ask everyone to pray for those families and my family as well. My family member was the victim of a fatal shooting in the 1500 block of N. Claiborne Ave. on Mardi Gras night,” said Interim Chief Woodfork.
Mardi Gras by the Numbers
The city says hundreds of arrests, thousands of 911 calls were made during the 2023 Mardi Gras season. That includes:
- 352 arrests
- 244 guns confiscated along or near parade routes
- 31,230 emergency calls