LSP: more troopers for Mardi Gras, NBA All-Star weekend
NEW ORLEANS – State Police have deployed more than 100 Troopers for the 2017 Mardi Gras season and the NBA All-Star weekend in New Orleans.
According to Louisiana State Police, 165 additional Troopers will be working in New Orleans to help with the events and Troopers already working in the city. Troopers will be on assignment in the French Quarter and metro area focusing on proactive patrols, criminal investigations, crowd and traffic control.
"Our primary focus during these events is protecting our citizens and tourists and ensuring that they have a memorable experience," Superintendent Colonel Mike Edmonson said.
Edmonson also said that law enforcement will also rely on the public to report criminal activity and unsafe situations.
Governor John Bel Edwards said that main goal throughout the city's events is public safety.
"Mardi Gras in itself is an exciting time to be in Louisiana, but adding in the return of the NBA All-Star Game makes it even better. Col. Edmonson and the LSP are doing a tremendous job in assisting Mayor Landrieu and NOPD secure the city, but this added presence will help protect the people in around the City of New Orleans," Edwards said.
Louisiana State Police is partnering with the New Orleans Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Fire Marshal's Office, DOTD and the Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control through the events.
State Police advise citizens to keep the following safety tips in mind:
· Know where your children are and do not allow them to play in areas where vehicular traffic is possible and also during the parades while floats are moving.
· Abide by laws enacted by the New Orleans City Council regarding safety on parade routes:
· Do not block intersections with ladders, grills, etc. These areas need to be kept open for emergency vehicles.
· Ladders should be at least 6 feet from barricades; this prevents a ladder and child from tipping over in front of a moving float and/or onto the roadway.
· If you are unfamiliar with the area you will be walking in, pick up a local map or get directions from reliable people, such as hotel personnel or law enforcement officers.
· AVOID vacant areas and dark alleys. There is safety in numbers so walk with someone you know or stay with the crowd.
· Do not flash large sums of currency while in public. This could possibly catch the eye of criminals.
· Carry pertinent information (driver's license, ID, credit cards, keys, etc.) and valuables in your front pocket. This puts pickpockets at a disadvantage. Avoid wearing baggy pants because they are easier targets for criminals. If possible, connect a chain from your wallet to your belt loop, making it more difficult for the criminals.
· Ladies, avoid carrying bulky purses and wearing expensive/flashy jewelry. Ensure your purse is zipped at all times. This prevents criminals from reaching into your purse. Also, carry pertinent information in your front pocket.
· Avoid excessive alcohol intake. Remember, the first thing alcohol affects is your judgment. A highly intoxicated person can be an easy target for a criminal.
Safety for Children:
· Once you arrive at your spot on the parade route, have your child identify two landmarks that let them know where they are. This makes children aware of their surroundings from the beginning.
· Make a plan ahead of time of what your child should do if he/she gets separated from you. If there is a police officer nearby, the child should go to the officer. If there is no police officer around, the child should look for a family with small children to ask for help.
· It is helpful to write a cell phone number on a small piece of paper and pin that paper inside of the child's shirt or jacket in case he/she gets lost. Even when children have a phone number memorized, it can be difficult to remember when the child is scared.
· Notice anyone in the crowd who may be paying a great deal of attention to your child.
· Take your child's picture with your cell phone before you head out for the day. If the worst thing happens, you can show the police exactly what your child looks like and what he/she was wearing.