Residents fear day State Troopers leave French Quarter
POSTED: Monday, August 18, 2014 - 4:10pm
UPDATED: Monday, August 18, 2014 - 4:35pm
New Orleans, LA (WGNO) -- In just two weeks, Louisiana State Troopers will be leaving the French Quarter streets and folks living in the French Quarter want them to stay.
One homeowner, so much in fact, he's made a sign and posted it to his balcony on Royal Street. It reads: "Help! We Need more NOPD!"
Mike Tilbury put this black and white sign up to state a clear message.
"We should have 150 police officers in this district. Right now we have less than 100 police officers. We've seen a spike in crime that's 35 percent from May to June," Tilbury said.
Tilbury's lived in the French Quarter since 1999, and said crime's never been as bad as it is right now. The Bourbon Street shootings in late-June really put everyone on high alert. After those shootings, the City responded by bringing in Louisiana State Troopers to help, but they're leaving on September 1st.
"I'm very concerned that the Troopers will be leaving on September 1st. They brought a lot of security to the French Quarter. It seems as if the crime has been much more controlled with them here," Tilbury said.
Bourbon Street businesses already have a plan in place for once Troopers leave. They've agreed to pay 10-thousand dollars a week for off-duty officers. Still, how do homeowners like Tilbury feel safe.
"We want to see a comprehensive plan on how they are going to get more NOPD officers on the streets. I've written City Council, I've written the Mayor, and I've worked on committees. Nothing's happening, so I thought I'm just going to put this sign up," he said.
There is possibly some help on the horizon. NOPD said by November, 27 new officers will graduate from the New Orleans Police Academy.
Tilbury said, "The problem will remain. The issue is they were budgeted for five training classes and 150 new hires, they only came up with 27. The surplus budget for those hires is now being used to pay off the Fireman's pension fund, and not providing security."