NEW ORLEANS, La. (WGNO) – New Orleans police are hoping to combat crime with a couple new set of wheels, thanks to the help of some local business owners.

 Officers in the Eighth District now have two new ATVs, which they say are critical in combating crime in the French Quarter because they can respond and move through crowds quickly.

“We really anticipate just the visitors, tourists and the residents being aware that these vehicles are here,” NOPD Captain Hans Gauthier said. “They can flag something down when something happens.”

Police say the ATVs will also come in handy when assisting other districts, like Sunday afternoon when NOPD responded to a fatal shooting at the corner of Basin Street and Canal Street.

“My officers responded, but yes, we’ll be able to use our technology, our vehicles to assist with that, and I think we’ll just have to see how effective they are, but they will be effective,” Captain Gauthier said. “I’m pretty sure of that.”

The new vehicles were made possible by a fundraising initiative organized by the COPS 8 non-profit organization.

Within about a month, the group raised the funds needed to purchase the ATVs from various French Quarter businesses with the owner of Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar, Danny Conwill, really stepping up.

“They said, ‘Well, we really need two [ATVs],’ and they were collecting from some other businesses, and I said, ‘Well, look, I’ll just go ahead and buy the big one myself, and then you can use the other money for the other one,’” Conwill said.

The business owner says local businesses and people who frequent the French quarter and nearby areas must always worry about crime.

“And we have to vigilant about trying to eliminate it, and I don’t know of any better way than supporting the police department because they’re on the first line,” Conwill said.

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