NEW ORLEANS-NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison and DDD President & CEO Kurt Weigle today (Sept. 1) announced additional public safety investments being made in the downtown New Orleans area as part of an on-going partnership between the City of New Orleans and the Downtown Development District (DDD). Among the new investments is a new NOPD patrol SUV, a new private security force and several public and private high-definition security cameras.
“Public safety is our number one priority and we are using every tool and resource available to deliver results to our residents and visitors,” said NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison. “Through our on-going partnership with the DDD, we are investing in new technology and additional resources that will ensure high visibility and a strong police presence throughout the downtown area everyday. I want to thank the DDD for its continued partnership to make this neighborhood safe.”
“The DDD is proud of our longtime partnership with the NOPD in advancing our public safety program and creating a safer New Orleans,” said DDD President & CEO Kurt Weigle. “These additions to our other enhanced services such as our police detail and public safety rangers helps ensure that Downtown will continue to be one of greatest places to live, work and play.”
New investments in public safety equipment
The DDD donated a new NOPD patrol SUV for officers who are assigned to the DDD security detail. This security detail provides 24/7 police security for Downtown stakeholders as part of the DDD’s public safety mission. Approximately 30 officers provide 400 hours per week in enhanced police coverage. This is the second vehicle donated to NOPD since 2014, which will greatly increase police presence and visibility in the area. Year to date, the DDD security detail has handled more than 3800 calls for service and made 540 arrests in 2016.
Earlier this year, the DDD invested $10,000 to the department’s Adopt-A-Block program for the purchase and installation of multiple high-definition security cameras throughout the area. The cameras will be registered with the department’s SafeCam NOLA program so detectives will know who to contact quickly when a crime occurs in those areas.
In addition, the City has invested in six high-definition Mobile Video Surveillance systems that can record in real-time and be viewed by law enforcement via wireless devices. One camera is already staged near Canal and Elk, the others will be used during major special events.
Private security patrols will add to NOPD coverage
The DDD has also hired a new private security unit that expands its public safety program, which already includes 24/7 police details for downtown. The security unit will patrol the area seven days a week, from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. The security patrols are available to respond to phone calls, perform regular business checks, report suspicious activity and address quality of life issues.
In addition, the DDD deploys Public Safety Rangers, a non-commissioned force of safety professionals. Rangers’ services include surveying the district for suspicious behavior or activities, providing homeless outreach, and offering SafeWalks, a free service provided to safely escort residents, workers and visitors to their Downtown destination.
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