NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Louisiana State Troopers have been here for almost 10 weeks. Their plan was to help fight crime and guard the city following a deadly shooting on Bourbon Street in June. Their plan was to leave after Labor Day, but now that plan is changing.
“I want to assure the citizens of the city of New Orleans. I want to assure those that are visiting New Orleans from not only around this state, around this country, but around the world that State Police is not leaving the City of New Orleans,” says Col. Mike Edmunson.
Col. Edmunson says state troopers will stay in New Orleans through November. It’s a welcomed sight for many including Interim NOPD Chief Michael Harrison who knows he’s heading a department in dire need of more officers.
“I’m thankful for our troopers and I’m especially grateful for Col. Edmunson’s commitment to the City of New Orleans,” says Chief Harrison.
Gentilly resident Demetria Doucet says, “As far as protection for New Orleans, we need them here for our safety, for our city.”
Jonathan Hinnen who works in the French Quarter says, “I work in the Quarter. I see stuff happen all the time, and stuff is going to happen whether there are cops around or not but I guess you can say it has calmed down a little bit.”
Col. Edmunson says so far 100 troopers split over two shifts in the city have responded to close to 1600 calls, made over 500 arrests, and confiscated about a $1-Million worth of drugs, and 45 illegal weapons.
He says as we get closer to November there will be a phased withdrawal, but if more troopers are needed they’ll be back.
“We’re fluid. I told the chief this morning, if he needs the cavalry we’re coming. We will be here,” says Col. Edmonson.