DDD, NOPD unveil new police car, crime cameras

Paul Murphy talks about joint efforts to fight crime in the Downtown area.

The New Orleans Downtown Development District is 370 blocks of prime real estate, spanning the CBD, Warehouse and South Market districts. 

Thursday, the DDD and NOPD showed off some new tools to help beef up public safety in area. The DDD donated a second police patrol vehicle and announced a new private armed security detail.

"Although downtown continues to be one of the safest parts of the city, if not the safest part, we have issues that crop up," Kurt Weigle, DDD President and CEO said. 

NOPD Supt. Michael Harrison announced a federal grant paid for five new HD crime cameras, like the one now hanging at Elk Place and Canal Street.

"This is another tool in our tool box to enhance public safety, to prevent crime, to identify people who commit crime and then hold those people accountable," Harrison said.

None of the new tools directly address a source of frustration for motorists and bike riders - delivery trucks blocking lanes of traffic or even worse, a bike lane. We found multiple trucks doubled parked in the bike lane on Baronne Street in the CBD.

"It shows a lack of respect for cyclists," bike rider Taylor Mills said. "Just considering how vulnerable we are out there. It just one of those things, I'd like to be not put in extra danger."

The DDD is now working with the city to study the problem.

"The issue of the double parking is an enforcement issue, yes, but it's bigger than that," Weigle said. "We need to look at when we do deliveries, where we have curb space for those delivery trucks to make sure that there's the space and that they're doling deliveries at the right time of day."

"It's a real problem that I deal with everyday," Mills said. "Something, something should be done."

According to the DDD, more than 1,000, new, permanent residents have moved into downtown in recent years. The district's director says as this area grows in popularity, so will efforts to keep people safe.

(© 2016 WWL)


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