With ESSENCE Fest and Fourth of July weekend, the streets are vibrating with energy, packed with people ready to party. And while some people say they aren’t concerned about the crime, others say it’s top of mind.
“It comes to my mind for sure, and coming out here as a woman with only other women, of course I’m going to think of that. It’s the first thing that comes to my mind,” said Kyria Porch, who is visiting from Houston.
So far this year, there have been more than 150 murders in the city — and New Orleans is already on track to surpass last year’s numbers. Despite the alarming crime rate — some tourists say they aren’t concerned.
“We’re not concerned because we’re going to stay together, we’re going to pay attention, and we are going to stick together,” Denise Banks, a visitor from New York, explained.
“I feel like it’s safe because we walk the streets at night,” added Carol Smalls, who traveled from California.
Others say when New Orleans comes up in the states they’re from — crime actually isn’t what comes to mind.
“I’d say the biggest thing in the news in Colorado about people coming to New Orleans is not the crime–it’s more about the social policy,” explained Mike Johnston, who is in town from Colorado. “t’s more about people saying ‘Do you want to vacation in a state where abortion will be illegal?'”
“They’re not thinking about crime,” smalled added. “They’re just thinking about networking and actually having a good time.”
Despite the recent violence — some tourists said they feel safe because of police visibility downtown.
“I’ve seen a lot of police officers, Joseline Jones, a traveler from Mississippi, told WGNO. “I’ve seen a lot of cop presence, so that’s great.”
Only time will tell what this weekend will bring, and every visitor said they’re hoping for a fun and peaceful trip.
Additional patrols are out across the city to ensure the safety of locals and visitors — and police are urging everyone this weekend — that if you see something, say something.