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Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

Mardi Gras season is here and the New Orleans Police Department is beefing up officer presence to keep you safe. This year the department is getting some backup from an unconventional partner that started on Friday night.

'Any extra help looking out to make people feel more safe and come to Mardi Gras and enjoy yourself is great,' said parade reveler Sheva Dematteo.

Before crowds even show up for Carnival parades, NOPD officers and personnel are busy at work setting up barricades and directing traffic to make way for this year's Krewe of Oshun and Cleopatra floats. Then the fun and entertainment begins.

On patrol along alongside NOPD Second District officers --- a new law enforcement partner, Tulane University police.

'We came up with ways where we can increase the cooperation between the Second District and the Tulane University Police Department,' said Commander Paul Noel. NOPD says the public will see Tulane police officers along Uptown parade routes to help beef up security. The University confirms it's footing the bill for the extra manpower.

'All 12 days of Mardi Gras, we'll have five officers and one supervisor working with us for every parade,' said Commander Noel.

He says Tulane University officers have patrolled with New Orleans police in the past and University detectives are even embedded in the Second District's investigative unit.

As Carnival season picks up in full swing, the NOPD says other agencies including the Orleans Parish and Jefferson Parish sheriff's offices will be on city streets.

State Police also confirm they will have 120 plus troopers in New Orleans starting next Friday to offer the NOPD extra support.

With Carnival parades drawing thousands of spectators Uptown, residents welcome the extra blue shirts on the group keeping a watchful eye on what's going on.

'It's a great thing. I have four boys here, two of my older boys are with me and two of my younger boys are catching beads. Tulane needs to do more to make the community happy,' said Uptown resident Rick Stedman.

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