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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Tourism group kicks in $2.5 million for New Orleans patrols

Tourism group kicks in $2.5 million for New Orleans patrols

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans' tourism industry will put up $2.5 million to help fund extra Louisiana State Police patrols in the city beyond the Mardi Gras season.

State police and other law enforcement agencies traditionally help the city with beefed up Mardi Gras patrols. Now, with the city battling an uptick in violent crime and a busy spring tourism season, plans have been announced to fund overtime for troopers with money from the tourism industry. Hotel rooms also will be provided for troopers brought in from outside the city.

State police Superintendent Mike Edmonson said the $2.5 million will help him provide help to the city without hurting his own budget or compromising safety in other parts of Louisiana.

Since November, a series of more than 60 robberies in the French Quarter have sparked demands for a greater police presence. Mayor Mitch Landrieu and police chief Michael Harrison acknowledge that the police force of less than 1,200 is well below the ideal number of 1,600, but say recruitment efforts are under way.

They have also announced a stepped up effort to draw retired officers into a reserve force.

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